Cattle prices rose at auction marts across the province as the fall sale season kicked into full gear.
“There’s a greater number of cattle on the market and prices getting paid for just about all weight ranges are stronger than what they have been in the past, say, two or three weeks,” said Ben Fox, a cattle buyer for JBS and president of Manitoba Beef Producers.
Approximately 12,169 head were sold at the province’s eight major auction marts during the week which ended Oct. 13, up over 5,000 head from the previous week where 6,580 were sold.
Sales for heavier weights rose anywhere from $5 to $10 per hundredweight, with prices falling between $180-$200/cwt in most markets. For some lower weights, prices rose anywhere from $10 to $40, to over $200/cwt.
Prices hung steady on the slaughter market side, with ranges staying the same as last week, for the most part. Bulls stayed in the $95-$105/cwt range across the province. For D1 and D2 cows, prices ranged anywhere from $78 to $84/cwt, with some selling as low as $65/cwt.
“Our butcher cattle prices are staying (steady). There’s no big increase in butcher cattle but the feeders sure are showing some strength,” Fox said.
At Heartland Livestock Services in Virden, there was an increase in demand for heavy-weighted cattle from feedlots to the west, east and south of the community.
“What we’re seeing at ringside is the heavy cattle bringing pretty much par to what the light cattle are, per-pound-wise,” said Colton McIntosh of Heartland at Virden.
“As the fall proceeds we’ll definitely see these light cattle come up in weight so we won’t have as many light cattle probably on the market, but hopefully the heavy cattle stay in demand.”
McIntosh expects run sizes to increase as the fall goes on. This week saw 3,153 cattle run through compared to 1,356 the previous week. McIntosh is expecting sizes to increase to anywhere from 3,300 to 3,400 in the upcoming weeks.
It is still early in the season and Fox said there aren’t big numbers of cattle moving yet so there are higher prices being paid which is fairly typical for this time of year.
“If cattle supplies start to pick up we might see a little softening in prices but for the most part it’s going to stay fairly strong,” he said.
“If (producers) can get their cattle in quicker and if it fits their marketing plan I think they’ll be able to reap the rewards.”