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Summer Volumes Drop, Prices Decline

The numb er of cattle being marketed through the various auction yards in Manitoba has begun its seasonal slowdown, with values for the animals on offer continuing to erode.

The decline in price was linked directly to the value of the Canadian dollar and to lower bids from the packers in both eastern and western Canadian locations. The values for good-quality feeder cattle were able to hold mostly steady levels.

“There was definitely a drop-off in demand evident this week, with values in general suffering because of the Canadian dollar again,” said Buddy Bergner of Ashern Livestock Mart. “The prices for cows probably saw the largest drop, declining easily about 10 cents a pound.”

Some of the decline in demand was also linked to the fact that pasture land in parts of Western Canada has been too dry to support animals, while in parts of Manitoba, pastures have standing water on them, making it impossible to put cattle out there.

“If the cattle can’t graze, there is no weight gain and that is a huge problem for producers,” he said.

Bergner also said there are a few cases where producers are still supplementing the cattle with feed rations, which is an expense they would rather avoid at this time of year.

Some of the reduction in demand is also being linked to the fact that a lot of the local producers have picked up the animals they want to work with during the summer, Bergner said.

Demand for Manitoba cattle from eastern and western outlets, meanwhile, was expected to steadily decline.

“It’s a seasonal issue,” an independent Alberta cattle analyst said, not wanting his name used. “That demand is expected to return in the fall.”

U. S. DEMAND

Demand from the U. S. for Manitoba cattle was expected to remain constant given the shortage of animals there, the analyst said.

Manitoba producers, he noted, could do themselves a favour and be a bit more aggressive in vaccinating cattle as well as age verifying them.

“Producers from Alberta are not as happy as they could be about buying animals from Manitoba as there is doubt about whether Manitoba cow-calf operators are vaccinating their animals properly,” the analyst said. “That doubt results in Manitoba cattle selling at a discount.”

The analyst said there certainly were a lot of Manitoba producers who vaccinate as they should, but there were also a few who are a bit more hesitant to do so, and those are the ones who spoil it for the rest.

Another factor that can lead to Manitoba cattle being sold at a discount is that a number of Manitoba producers are also not age verifying cattle.

“That uncertainty definitely reduces some of the prices paid for those cattle,” the analyst 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 872 head of cattle were sold at the sale held on June 10.

In the slaughter market, heiferettes sold for $55 to $68, while D1 and D2 cows traded from $47 to $55; D3 and D5 cows brought $37-$48. Good bulls sold from $50 to $64.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. ranged from $90 to $107; 600-700 lbs., $95-$118.50; 500-600 lbs., $100-$128; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$113.

Feeder heifers, 800-900 lbs., traded at $80-$89; 700-800 lbs., $85-$99; 600-700 lbs., $90-$103.25; and 500-600 lbs., $95-$110.

Holiday schedule: Closed in Ashern until mid-August.

Gladstone Auction Mart: No information was available. Holiday schedule: The last sale will be held July 7. Auctions will start again on Aug. 12.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: No information is available. Holiday schedule: There will not be a cattle auction the first week of July. They will then be held every other week until mid-August.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 445 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week.

A1-A2 steers went for $80.50; D1-D2 cows, $38-$49.50; feeder cows $35-$37; shells, $15-$29; and good bulls, $60-$64.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs., $85-$89; 800-900 lbs., $90-$95; 700-800 lbs., $95-$104; 600-700 lbs., $100-$110.75; 500-600 lbs., $102-$114; 400-500 lbs., $105-$112.75; and 300-400 lbs., $105-$113.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold for $82-$88; 800-900 lbs., $85-$90; 700-800 lbs., $90-$102.25; 600-700 lbs., $95-$107.75; 500-600 lbs., $95-$108.50 and 400-500 lbs., $100-$107.50.

Holiday schedule: Auctions will be held on Tuesdays only during the summer months.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There were about 582 cattle sold at the sale held on June 10. Butcher steers brought $78-$82 while butcher heifers sold from $77 to $80.25. Age-verified/young cows sold for $44-$50; D1-D2 cows, $40-$46; D3 cows, $35-$40; shelly cows, $28-$35; and mature bulls, $56-$63.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $80-$90; 800-900 lbs., $87-$97; 700-800 lbs., $97-$107; 600-700 lbs., $100-$111; 500-600 lbs., $103-$115; and 400-500 lbs., $105-$120.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $74 to $84; 800-900 lbs., $82-$91.50; 700-800 lbs., $85-$98; 600-700 lbs., $88-$102; 500-600 lbs., $97-$106 and 400-500 lbs., $98-$108.

Holiday Schedule: There will be no changes to the cattle auctions during the summer months.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 310 cattle sold at the sale held on June 8. Included in the sale were 60 slaughter animals and 250 feeders.

In the slaughter market A1 and A2 heifers brought $78-$81; D1 cows, $44-$49; D2, $44-$49; D3 cows, $17-$29; and bulls, $58-$66.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. fetched $76-$92; 700-800 lbs., $78-$96; 600-700 lbs., $80-$106; 500-600 lbs., $85-$108; and 400-500 lbs., $94-$112.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs., $81-$95; 700-800 lbs., $88-$102; 600-700 lbs., $90-$109; 500-600 lbs., $95-$114; and 400-500 lbs., $96-$118.

Holiday schedule: The last sale of the summer will be on June 22. The schedule will start again on August 10.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: No information is available. Holiday schedule: There will be no auctions during the month of July.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held on Thursday, June 11 resulted in 156 slaughter cattle and 25 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. traded at $78-$82; A1-A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $75-$80.50; D1 and D2 cows sold from $36 to $48; D3 and D5 cows, $28-$36; and good bulls, $54-$63.

Holiday Schedule: There will be no sales during the month of July.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 1,483 head of cattle sold at the sales during the week ended Friday, June 12. In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $40-$45; good fleshed, $34-$40; lean, $26-$34; young age verified, $30-$45; and good bulls, $52-$61.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $86-$93; and 500-600 lbs., $98-$106.

Heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. ranged from $84 to $90; 600-700 lbs., $90-$99.50; and 500-600 lbs., $90-$98.

Holiday schedule: Cattle auctions will be held once a week on Tuesdays during the summer months.

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