Cattle prices improve prior to summer shutdowns

Overall cattle traffic at auctions was down by almost two-thirds

Just as the spring run in the Manitoba cattle auctions comes to an end, prices gained a little ground for the week of May 29 to June 4.

Keith Cleaver of Heartland at Brandon said increased demand provided support for prices, while Harold Unrau of Grunthal Auction Mart added that “a lack of product” also helped.

With several auctions closed this week, the overall number of cattle sold was down sharply, with about 1,100 compared to approximately 2,900 the previous week.

Although the Canadian dollar was on the rise as well this week, it didn’t have much of an effect on prices, according to Unrau.

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“I don’t know what it would have been if (the dollar) stayed low,” he stated.

There was an overall increase week to week in lighter feeder steers. They ran $180-$275 per hundredweight (cwt) during the week ended June 4, up from $155-$268/cwt the previous week. Heavier feeder steers remained steady at $135-$206/cwt.

Lighter feeder heifers experienced some improvement at the low end, going from $128-$221 last week to $160-$219 this week. Heavier feeder heifers were steady, from $137-$197 the week ended May 28 to $135-$184.

As the season winds down, a number of auctions didn’t have a sale this week, including Ashern, Gladstone, Killarney and Pipestone, while Ste. Rose is already closed until mid-August.

Pipestone had its auction on June 5, with Killarney scheduled for June 8, followed by Gladstone on June 9 and Ashern on June 10.

Cleaver said Brandon will remain open weekly for the rest of June, then switch to biweekly for July and August.

Unrau said Grunthal will keep to its weekly schedule throughout the summer, but will be closed June 30 and August 4.

About the author

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Glen Hallick - MarketsFarm

Glen Hallick writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. He previously reported for Postmedia newspapers in southern Manitoba and the province’s Interlake region.

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