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Supplies Slow, Demand Remains

Prices are still relatively firm, but numbers moving throug h the cattle auction yards in Manitoba are starting to slow down as the spring progresses. Some yards were closed during the week ahead of the Easter long weekend.

“The numbers are starting to go down, as everyone gets cleaned out,” said Buddy Bergner at Ashern Livestock Mart, “but the market has held up very well.”

While cattle prices are strong, costs are also up, said Bergner, noting the rising fuel, fertilizer and feed costs. As a result, profitability, while still there, has not improved all that much.

The Canadian dollar traded above US$1.05 during the week, which also cuts into profitability in the cattle sector.

However, cattle prices are still good enough to counter the rising costs. “They’re getting a fair return on their cattle,” said Bergner on the current market.

Bulls and cows were seeing some particularly strong demand from processors in Alberta, he said. The demand for feeder cattle was also steady, with most of those animals moving east over the past week.

A lack of good-quality feed supplies this winter caused many cattle producers to sell their animals earl ier than normal this year, when prices were strong. As a result, Bergner expected numbers moving through the auction yards would quiet down even more in May. “Guys who sold in May last year have already sold this year, just because of the price and feed.”

People who sold earlier were able to take advantage of good prices, he said.

Looking ahead, the excessive moisture and flooding across much of Western Canada could cause problems for both the grain and livestock sectors. For cattle producers, the road closures due to flooding are creating some difficulties, although animals are still able to move around the detours.

Bergner was optimistic that all of the moisture would lead to good feed grain and forage supplies in the upcoming year. The better land will produce more grain when there is moisture, which should help offset any area lost to flooding, he said.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:AllpricesinCanadian dollarsperhundredweight (cwt).Thesepricesalsogenerally representthetopone-third ofsalesreportedbythe auctionyard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 898 head of cattle were sold at the sale held April 20. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $72 to $84; D3 and D5 cows, $55-$63; age verified, $70-$80; good bulls, $80-$99; and heiferettes, $72- $84.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $107-$119; 700-800 lbs., $111-$130; 600- 700 lbs., $124-$138; 500-600 lbs., $135-$145; and 400-500 lbs., $125-$152.

Feeder heifers weighing 700- 800 lbs. brought $112-$121; 600-700 lbs., $117-$131.50; 500-600 lbs., $127-$142; and 400-500 lbs., $130-$147.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The April 19 sale saw a total of 708 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $79 to $86 while cows brought $50-$75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $95 to $107; 800-900 lbs., $95- $113.50; 700-800 lbs., $100- $129.50; 600-700 lbs., $108- $148; 500-600 lbs., $100-$156; 400-500 lbs., $115-$165; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$160.

Feeder heifers in the 800-to 900-lb. category traded from $80 to $117.50; 700-800 lbs., $84-$122.50; 600-700 lbs. , $105-$136; 500-600 lbs., $105- $143.50; 400-500 lbs., $110- $147; and 300-400 lbs., $115- $143.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 67 slaughter cattle and 92 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on April 20. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $68 to $70.50; lean export cows, $62-$67; mature cows, $58- $64; feeding cows, $72-$77; and export bulls, $84-$88.50.

Feeder hei fers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $100- $108; 700-800 lbs., $105-$115; 600-700 lbs., $112-$131; 500- 600 lbs., $120-$138; 400-500 lbs., $125-$137; and under 400 lbs., $128-$140.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. ranged from $105 to $114; 700-800 lbs., $112-$124; 600-700 lbs., $120-$138; 500- 600 lbs., $135-$149; 400-500 lbs., $140-$154; and under 400 lbs., $140-$150.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 1,016 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the April 19 sale. In the slaughter market, butcher steers sold for $98- $102; butcher heifers, $93- $98; D1-D2 cows, $74-$78; D3 cows, $64-$73; and mature bulls, $87-$92.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $107 to $115; 800-900 lbs., $112- $124.50; 700-800 lbs., $120- $141.25; 600-700 lbs., $130- $156; 500-600 lbs., $145-$158; 400-500 lbs., $150-$167; and 300-400 lbs., $158-$168.

Feeder hei fers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $92- $103.50; 800-900 lbs., $103- $113; 700-800 lbs. , $112- $119.75; 600-700 lbs., $120- $133; 500-600 lbs., $130-$148; 400-500 lbs., $133-$150; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$155.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:No sales report was available for the week.

Killarney Auction Mart: There were 411 cattle sold at the sale held April 21. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows brought $72-$89.50; D3 and D4 cows, $53-$71; and slaughter bulls, $74.75-$90.

Feeder steers weighing 900- plus lbs. brought $99-$107.50; 800-900 lbs., $111-$117.50; 700-800 lbs., $117-$128.50; 600-700 lbs., $124-$139.50; 500-600 lbs., $127-$147.50; 400-500 lbs., $128-$152.50; and 300-400 lbs. , $140- $160.50.

Feeder hei fers weighing above 900 lbs. traded from $89 to $100.50; 800-900 lbs., $99- $107.50; 700-800 lbs., $109- $114.50; 600-700 lbs., $119- $134; 500-600 lbs., $121-$135; 400-500 lbs., $125.50-$139; 300-400 lbs., $130-$142.50; and 200-300 lbs., $82-$96.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:No sale was held. The next sale is April 28.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held April 21 resulted in 90 slaughter cattle and 220 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1 and A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. sold from $98 to $102; A1 and A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $95-$98; D1 and D2 cows, $70-$78; D3 and D5 cows, $60-$70; and good bulls, $85-$91.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $105-$115; 800-900 lbs., $115-$125; 700- 800 lbs., $120-$130; 600-700 lbs., $130-$145; 500-600 lbs., $145-$155; 400-500 lbs., $150- $165; and 300-400 lbs., $155- $170.

Feeder hei fers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $105 to $120; 700-800 lbs., $110- $125; 600-700 lbs., $115-$130; 500-600 lbs., $120-$135; 400- 500 lbs., $125-$140; and 300- 400 lbs., $135-$145.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 202 cattle sold at the sale held April 19. There was no feeder sale on Friday due to the Good Friday holiday.

In the slaughter market, dry fed cows ranged from $64 to $69; good fleshed, $59-$64; lean, $52-$59; age verified/ young, $62-$82.50; and good bulls, $82-$87. Bred cows and cow-calf pairs traded from $1,100 to $1,400 each.

———

– Buddy Bergner, Ashern Livestock Mart

GuyswhosoldinMaylastyearhave alreadysoldthisyear,justbecause ofthepriceandfeed.”

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