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Unusual Summer Rally Seen In Cattle Markets

Vo l a t i l i t y has been the name of the game in cattle markets of late, and that trend could continue throughout the summer, according to one industry analyst.

Anne Dunford, general manager of Gateway Livestock at Taber, Alta., said there has been lots of fluctuation in prices recently.

“It’s been an up-and-down market here lately. After the strong values we saw earlier this year, markets came under considerable pressure in May and June, and quicker than expected,” she said.

“However, over the past week prices have rallied considerably, which is a surprise because we would normally be seeing the summer doldrums right now, but it could have been a case of values falling too far too fast.”

Dunford said prices are still at historically high levels, and the strength is causing more producers to try and build up their herds, and in some cases, get started in the cattle industry.

“As prices move up that tends to be one of the things that gets talked about. Of course, it’s a nasty opposite when prices are down, when guys are forced to leave the industry because of lack of profitability,” she said. “But assuming we can get the profitability factor on the right side of the ledger, I think we will see more guys getting into the industry.”

However, Dunford noted, getting into the cattle industry isn’t something that happens overnight.

“You have to keep a heifer, breed the heifer, and once the heifer has a calf, it doesn’t end up making you any money until down the road, so it is a drawn-out process,” she said. “It’s like turning the Titanic around. It takes a while.”

When more and more producers are looking to get into the industry or build up their herds, it means fewer animals available to purchasers and end users, she said.

“When guys are looking to build up their herds, they keep heifers back so feedlots are unable to get a hold of them, which brings down numbers of available animals,” she said. “It’s a double- edged sword. We have to keep heifers back to increase the herd, but it’s going to mean fewer feeder cattle for feedlots.”

As far as hay conditions are concerned on the Canadian Prairies, Dunford said that aside from the areas that were completely flooded, there were some “phenomenal” grass and hay conditions.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:Allpricesin Canadiandollarsperhundredweight. Thesepricesalso generallyrepresentthetop one-thirdofsalesreported by the auction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart: Closed for summer. Sales to resume in August.

Gladstone Auction Mart: Prices unavailable from June 21 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 220 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the June 21 sale. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows went for $65- $75.75; D3 cows, $55-$65; feeder cows, $40-$55; and good bulls, $82-$87.50.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. ranged from $102 to $106; 700-800 lbs., $110-$127.25; 600-700 lbs., $120-$133; and 500-600 lbs., $125-$144; while 400-500 lbs. brought $130-$149.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $95- $103; 700-800 lbs., $102- $114.75; 600-700 lbs., $110- $123, and 500-600 lbs., $115- $120.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 577 cattle sold at the sale held on June 22. Butcher steers brought $88- $93.50 while butcher heifers sold from $87 to $91.50. Age-verified/young cows ranged from $68 to $73; D1 and D2 cows, $66-$72; D3 cows, $62-$66; shelly cows, $45-$55; and mature bulls, $84-$91.25.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $104- $117; 700-800 lbs., $110- $124; 600-700 lbs., $117- $134; and 500-600 lbs., $120- $140.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $95 to $106; 700-800 lbs., $100- $114; 600-700 lbs., $108-$124; and 500-600 lbs., $110-$129.

Killarney Auction Mart: No auction this week. Sales to resume in August.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 305 cattle were sold at the June 23 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $62 to $72; D3 and D4 cows, $50- $65; canners, $35-$54; and bulls, $82-$90.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $105- $114; 600-700 lbs., $115- $128; 500-600 lbs., $125- $136; and 400-500 lbs., $115- $124. Feeder heifers weighing 600-700 lbs. brought $105-$116.50; 400-500 lbs., $112-$125; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$116.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held June 23 resulted in 245 slaughter cattle and 186 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $62 to $74; D3 and D5 cows, $50-$63.50; and good bulls, $78-$88.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $95- $111; 800-900 lbs., $104- $116; 700-800 lbs., $112- $124.50; 600-700 lbs., $115- $131; 500-600 lbs., $120- $136; 400-500 lbs., $125- $138.50; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$140.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $94 to $108; 700-800 lbs., $100-$113.50; 600-700 lbs., $106-$121; 500-600 lbs. , $110-$124.50; 400-500 lbs., $116-$132; and 300-400 lbs., $122-$136.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 482 cattle sold at the sale held June 24. In the slaughter market, age-verified/ young cows ranged from $55 to $71.50; D1 and D2 cows, $63-$67; D3 cows, $59-$63; shelly cows, $50- $59; and mature bulls, $77- $90.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $108- $116; 700-800 lbs., $110- $125.25; and 600-700 lbs., $120-$135.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $92 to $101; 800-900 lbs., $98-$105; 700-800 lbs., $100-$111; 600-700 lbs. , $150-$115; and 500-600 lbs., $110-$121.

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BRENT HARDERCNSC

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