Cattle volumes at auctions across the province have come off of fall run highs, providing some support to feeder cattle prices.
“We’re through the bulk of fall run numbers, so prices have tightened up,” said Brian Perillat of Canfax in Calgary.
“It’s a balancing act, but for the most part, undertones in the market have been relatively positive.”
During the week ended Nov. 22, about 9,000 head moved through auctions across the province. This week, auctions saw about 5,600 head.
Perillat noted feeder cattle prices were at the highest levels since May.
In particular, 500- to 600-lb. feeder steers were between $200 and $250 per hundredweight across the province.
Perillat said demand for Manitoba cattle is mostly coming from Western Canada and the northwestern United States.
In September, a large packing plant in Toronto had its federal licence suspended, causing feedlots in the area to deal with a backlog of cattle. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency last week announced the Ryding-Regency plant’s licence has been cancelled.
“We’ve seen some Ontario feedlots back off the market for Manitoba feeder cattle,” Perillat said. That had brought some pressure to prices during the fall run.
The Canadian dollar was up by nearly half a cent at mid-week, at 75.63 U.S. cents on Wednesday.
“That always adds a bit of caution to the market,” Perillat said.