Prices for cattle at auctions across Manitoba were stronger ahead of the summer slowdown during the week ended June 11.
“There’s some optimism for feeder cows, because we can put them away for a later market,” said Tyler Slawinski, an auctioneer for the livestock markets at Ashern and Gladstone.
Demand is strong for heavier feeder cattle, which has supported prices, he said. At Ashern’s auction this week, feeder steers in the 700- to 800-lb. weight class were priced between $153 and $158 per hundredweight (cwt).
Slawinski mentioned fed cattle prices have also improved since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many processing plants had to close in order to stymie the spread of the coronavirus.
“Even those lighter-type cattle are bringing in fairly decent money, as they’re put away for later,” Slawinski said.
Feeder steers in the 400- to 500-lb. weight class were priced between $145 and $246/cwt at Ashern.
While Manitoba auctions either shut down and opt for fewer auctions during the summer months, processing plants have an opportunity to reduce their backlog of cattle.
“Hopefully those plants catch up on that while cull cows and bulls have gone to pasture,” Slawinski said. “There’s a bit of optimism.”