It was quiet at auction marts across Manitoba during the week ended July 4, with most facilities now in their seasonal summer shutdown while a few others (Winnipeg and Virden) took a week off in observance of Canada Day.
Rick Wright, a cattle buyer with Heartland Order Buying, said both volumes and prices will slow down during the next couple of months.
“There will be spotty trade, and it all depends on who is looking for what,” he said. “Some of the buyers go on holidays, and then with most rural auction marts shut down for summer, there isn’t a lot of activity.
“Most of the activity will just be cows, as the feeders are pretty much done now for the summer.”
Although there was very little activity in Manitoba during the week, there was a slight increase in southern Alberta feeder cattle, which Wright said can only be viewed as a positive going forward.
More good news for cattle producers came from an announcement earl ier in the week that Canadian beef producers have regained access to send product to South Korea.
The two countries are working to final ize what they call a “science-based” agreement, which will allow Canadian beef from animals under 30 months of age to enter South Korea – the last key Asian market still imposing a trade ban on Canadian beef.
The two nations have resolved technical issues and will continue to work together until the agreement is fully implemented, they said. South Korea began its domestic process of submitting the proposed import health requirements on June 28.
The Canadian Beef Export Federation (CBEF) said the agreement could mean more than $30 million for Canadian beef producers by 2015. South Korea was Canada’s fourth-biggest beef market in 2002.
Meanwhile, Wright said hay conditions in the southwest part of the province were not bad, but would likely be later than normal.
“It’s coming. In fact, in some drier areas it is looking pretty good, but it’s still pretty spotty with a lot of standing water in some regions,” he said. “Harvesting the hay crop will likely be later than normal.”
One factor that was not positive for cattle prices during the week was the Canadian dollar, he said. The loonie gained nearly two full cents against its U.S. counterpart during the week, which made buying animals less attractive to purchasers south of the border.
FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS
Note:Allpricesin Canadiandollarsperhundredweight. Thesepricesalso generallyrepresentthetop one-thirdofsalesreported bytheauctionyard.
Ashern Livestock Mart: Closed for summer. Sales to resume in August.
Gladstone Auction Mart: Prices unavailable from June 28 sale. Final sale in mid- July. Sales to resume in mid- August.
Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart :Summer schedule in place. No sales until August.
Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 512 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the June 28 sale.
In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows went for $68- $75; D3 cows, $60-$67; feeder cows, $40-$55; and good bulls, $84-$89.
Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $95-$108.75; 800-900 lbs., $110-$119; 700-800 lbs. , $115-$128; 600-700 lbs. , $125-$139.50; 500-600 lbs., $130-$146.50; 400-500 lbs., $132-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$148.
Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $89- $104; 800-900 lbs., $92-$108; 700-800 lbs., $107-$122.50; 600-700 lbs., $112-$130; 500- 600 lbs., $115-$128; and 400- 500 lbs., $120-$134.25.
Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:No sale during the week. Auctions to resume July 5.
Killarney Auction Mart: No auction this week. Sales to resume in August.
Ste. Rose Auction Mart: Sales finished for summer. Auctions to resume in fall.
Taylor Auctions, Melita: Sales concluded for summer. Auctions to resume August 18.
Winnipeg Livestock Sales: No sale during the week due to Canada Day. Sales to resume Friday, July 8.
– Rick Wright, Heartland Order Buying
“Therewillbespotty trade,anditall dependsonwhois lookingforwhat.”