“Shorter-Term” Cattle In Slim Demand

Wet conditions and flooding continued to play havoc with cattle marketings in Manitoba during the week ended May 27, with some auction yards still closed. For the yards that were open, marketings declined, with values for most types of cattle also on the downtrend.

The numbers during the reporting period would best be described as “mixed,” said Rick Wright, a cattle buyer with Heartland Order Buying Co.

There was some very strong demand for cattle weighing under 750 pounds, as individuals were still looking to stock up on animals for grass, he said. There was some resistance to purchasing cattle weighing over 750 lbs., as finished prices have declined and as feed costs have risen.

“This combination has made individuals a little bit more nervous about buying these shorter-term cattle,” he said.

Prices for slaughter cattle definitely saw some downward movement during the reporting period, while cow values were the exception.

“Considering all the bearish price factors, cow bids stayed remarkably strong in response

to the aggressive demand from the packers,” Wright said.

Strong values for cows were tied to the demand from the hamburger market, he said.

“There has been strong interest in buying cows from the U.S., aimed at supplying the demand for hamburgers for the barbecue season,” he said, noting the U.S. dollar has lost some of its buying power for offshore purchases. As a result, those U.S. packers have been looking to Western Canada to make up some of that shortfall.

“The barbecue season is also in full swing in Canada, which is only adding to the demand picture,” he said.

Some of the demand for cows has also come from individuals looking to restock breeding herds.

Wright cautioned that few individuals in the Interlake area were currently looking for any cows or, for that matter any kind of cattle, given the flood situation in the area. “Those buyers have been taken right out of the market as a result.”

Cattle producers in flooded areas of Manitoba were facing some difficult situations, he acknowledged, including having nowhere to put animals due to high water levels on pasture land. The fact that a lot of prime hayland also remains under water will only serve to add to those difficulties, he said.

“This is the third year of frustration for cattle producers in the Interlake, with this being the worst of the three,” Wright pointed out.

A lot of the cattle being sold at the auction yards in Manitoba were said to be going to locals, with a few heading both east and west as usual. A lot of the local demand was said to be replacing newborn calves that died during the snowstorm in early May.

“Essentially what these producers are doing is selling their cows at the high prices and picking up the younger animals in order to replace the calves they lost,” Wright said.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note: All prices in Canadian dollars per hundredweight (cwt). These prices also generally represent the top one-third of sales reported by the auction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 883 head of cattle were sold at the sale held on March 30. Included in the sale were 283 slaughter cattle and 600 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $62 to $72; D3 and D4

cows, $55-$62; age verified, $70-$80; and good bulls, $80- $96.50.

Feeder steers weighing 600-700 lbs. sold from $110 to $139; 500-600 lbs., $124- $140; 400-500 lbs., $128-$154; and 300-400 lbs., $130-$146. Feeder heifers weighing 600- 700 lbs. traded from $104- $135; 500-600 lbs., $105-$130; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$136.

Gladstone Auction Mart: Sale results not available.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 89 slaughter cattle and 298 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on May 25. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows fetched $64-$69; lean export cows, $59-$64; mature cows, $57-$64; feeding cows, $68-$74; and export bulls, $83-$87.25.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. traded from $105 to $113.50; 600-700 lbs., $108- $120; 500-600 lbs., $110-$124; 400-500 lbs., $115-$125; and under 400 lbs., $110-$120.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. fetched $100-$105.50; 700-800 lbs., $110-$121.50; 600-700 lbs., $120-$134; 500- 600 lbs., $122-$133; 400-500 lbs., $125-$133.50; and under 400 lbs., $128-$140.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:There was no sale during the week, due to ongoing flood issues.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:At the sale held on May 25, 841 head of cattle were marketed. In the slaughter market, butcher steers brought $90- $94.75, while butcher heifers fetched $89-$94. Age-verified young cows traded at $68-$74, with sales to $76. D1-D2 cows traded at $66-$73; D3 cows, $61- $66; young grass cows, $70-$82; and mature bulls, $84-$90.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $98 to $108; 800-900 lbs., $107-$116; 700-800 lbs., $115-$133; 600- 700 lbs., $125-$146; 500-600 lbs., $130-$151; and 400-500 lbs., $135-$155.

Feeder heifers in the 900- to 1,000-lb. category brought $92-$101; 800-900 lbs., $97- $110; 700-800 lbs., $107-$117; 600-700 lbs., $112-$127; 500- 600 lbs., $118-$131; and 400- 500 lbs., $120-$136.

Killarney Auction Mart:No sale was held on May 26, but one is planned for June 2.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 500 cattle were sold at the May 25 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $63 to $79.50; D3 and D4 cows, $50-$52; canners, $35- $50; slaughter bulls, $81-$96; and medium bulls, $79-$87.

Feeder steers weighing 700- 800 lbs. fetched $112-$125; 600- 700 lbs., $120-$142; 500-600 lbs., $135-$151; and 400-500 lbs., $135-$146. Feeder heifers weighing 600-700 lbs. brought $110-$124; 500-600 lbs., $110- $125; 400-500 lbs., $115-$127; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$124.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held May 26 resulted in 120 slaughter cattle and 132 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. sold from $90 to $95; A1-A2 heifers over 850 lbs. traded at $89-$94; D1 and D2 cows sold from $65 to $75; D3 and D5 cows, $55-$65; and good bulls, $85-$91.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $105-$110; 800-900 lbs., $110-$120; 700-800 lbs., $115-$128; 600-700 lbs., $125-$135; 500-600 lbs., $135- $150; 400-500 lbs., $140-$155; and 300-400 lbs., $150-$165.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $100 to $110; 700-800 lbs., $105-$115; 600-700 lbs., $110-$125; 500-600 lbs., $115-$130; 400-500 lbs., $120-$135; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$140.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: A total of 420 head of cattle sold at the auction held May 27, of which 180 were for the slaughter sector and 240 went as feeders.

In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $66-$69; good fleshed cows, $59-$66; lean cows, $53-$59; young age verified, $58-$75; and good bulls, $72-$84.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. sold from $115 to $126; 600-700 lbs., $122- $131.50; and 500-600 lbs., $120-$140. Feeder heifers in the 500-to 600-lb. category brought $110-$125.

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DWAYNE KLASSENCNSC

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– RICK WRIGHT, HEARTLAND ORDER BUYING CO.

“ThisisthethirdyearoffrustrationforcattleproducersintheInterlake,withthisbeingtheworstofthethree.”

-RICK WRIGHT, HEARTLAND ORDER BUYING CO

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