As the fall run continues at Manitoba’s cattle auctions, prices held steady, according to Tyler Slawinski, an auctioneer at the Ashern and Ste. Rose auction marts.
“The fall run is still booming. We were full on; Ashern had nearly 2,900 and Ste. Rose had almost 2,600,” he said.
Province-wide, auctions sold more than 15,000 head during the week of Nov. 20-26.
“There’s still going to be lots of cattle moving for the next couple of weeks, before we get into the holiday season,” the auctioneer added.
There’s one particular issue that came to mind for Slawinski: that of rising feed prices on the Prairies.
“Feed grains in the West are quite a bit stronger. That makes cattle softer for putting into the feedlots,” he said.
Prairie Ag Hotwire reported feed barley in Western Canada ranged from $4.25 to $5.99 per bushel delivered as of Nov. 26. Feed wheat was $5.35-$7.43.
In turn, cattle have become cheaper on the western Prairies, leaving Slawinski a bit unsure whether that trend will push into Manitoba’s auctions.
“As far as eastern orders and local orders go, the cattle are still selling very strong,” he said.
Prices this week across Manitoba were on the steady side, with fluctuations of $5-$10 either way.
For example, at Ste. Rose, 400- to 500-lb. steers brought in $230-$275 per hundredweight (cwt) on Nov. 26, and heifers in the same weight class garnered $195-$225/cwt. The previous week those steers fetched $240-$270/cwt, while heifers were unchanged.
At Ashern on Nov. 25, feeder steers in the 700- to 800-lb. range sold for $155-$189/cwt and heifers in the same category were $150- $175. The previous week, they went for $176-$181.50 and $155-$174/cwt respectively.
With the fall run approaching its end, Slawinski said Ste. Rose will have a bred cattle auction on Nov. 27, which could indicate the sentiment in the market.
“We’ll know what kind of optimism there’s going to be out there,” he said, noting the large amount of cattle that were culled this time last year due to feed shortages.