Cattle prices saw only small changes for the most part at several Manitoba auctions for the week ending March 1.
“I felt the market was fully steady,” said Robin Hill of Heartland Livestock Services’ auction facility at Virden, speaking of cattle under 700 lbs.
For example, feeder heifers in the 400- to 500-lb. range were unchanged from last week compared to those sold at Virden’s Feb. 27 sale. They garnered $197-$215 per hundredweight (cwt).
Also unchanged at Virden were heifers in the 600- to 700-lb. category, which brought in $158-$172/cwt. Feeder steers (700-800 lbs.) changed very little, from $179-$194/cwt to $178-$195/cwt.
At Heartland’s Brandon auction, feeder cattle in the 400- to 500-lb. and 500- to 600-lb. slots remained the same. They respectively earned $220-$240/cwt and $215-$235/cwt.
There were price swings elsewhere in the province, depending on weight categories, such as Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart on Feb. 26. Feeder steers (400-500 lbs.) fell from $200-$255/cwt to $190-$240/cwt. Feeder heifers under 400 lbs. dipped as well, from $220-$257 the previous week to $190-$232.50 most recently.
Another notable shift downward was in feeder steers (300-400 lbs.) at Killarney Auction Mart; they dropped from $245-$270/cwt on Feb. 18 to $220-$240/cwt on Feb. 25.
On the butcher side, Hill said there has been lots of volume with prices for cows down $1-$2. One issue he noted was with fat cattle.
“They’re not where the producers want to see them,” Hill commented.
The total amount of cattle passing through Manitoba’s auctions swung upward, with 13,330 head sold between Feb. 25 to March 1 compared to 11,850 the previous week.