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Cattle values up with U.S. futures

The province hasn’t put any new pandemic restrictions on livestock markets

Cattle prices at Winnipeg Livestock Sales were a bit higher over the last week, according to the auction’s Scott Anderson.

There have been positive moves in the market over the last few weeks, he said, largely due to an upswing in the U.S. futures markets.

“I think this will continue through this week as well,” he said.

The Winnipeg auction had some small increases at its Oct. 30 sale when compared to its Oct. 23 sale. Feeder steers in the 800- to 900-lb. range saw the high end climb $8, to $189 per hundredweight. Also, feeder heifers in the 600- to 700-lb. class pushed a bit higher to $173 on the top end.

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However, there were a few declines as well at Winnipeg, as cattle in the 300- to 400-lb. range saw their high prices dip from $312.50 on Oct. 23 for steers to $300 a week later. Heifers saw their high price pull back as well, from $271 to $255.

A number of other cattle auctions across the province noted their prices were steady to higher as well. For example, feeder steers in the 800- to 900-lb. range at Grunthal went for $145-$153/cwt on Oct. 27. This week they garnered $160-$176/cwt.

At Ashern Auction Mart, feeder heifers in the 300- to 400-lb. category saw a larger increase. Last week they sold for $170-$200/cwt and on Nov. 4 they fetched $190-$250/cwt.

Anderson said there are more feeders this fall run compared to a year ago, chalking that up to the availability of feed. This year, producers had better supplies of feed to keep their cattle through to fall, compared to 2019 when they scrambled to find enough feed.

“Last year guys had to sell everything because there was no feed around. They didn’t have a choice,” he said of the cattle sold before the fall run.

While the provincial government has enacted stricter measures to counter a growing number of COVID-19 cases, Anderson said there weren’t any additional measures placed on cattle auctions.

Current restrictions remain in place, he said, limiting who and how many people are permitted in an auction facility — primarily the buyers. Spectators have been barred from the auctions for several months.

“We have Plexiglas shields between all of the buyers in the front row,” Anderson said, noting the industry has been trying to be proactive in combating the spread of COVID-19.

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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