Sale prices stay healthy as cattle numbers rise

Cattle that were snowbound the previous week found willing buyers

Sale prices stay healthy as cattle numbers rise

The numbers of cattle that went to Manitoba’s auctions for the week ended April 22 were significantly higher than the previous week’s. Coupled with that were decent prices for slaughter and feeder cattle, according to Tyler Slawinski, auctioneer at the Gladstone and Ashern Auction Marts.

The latest week saw 8,611 cattle shipped to the province’s eight auctions, compared to 2,525 during the week ended April 15 due to the amount of snow Manitoba received.

“Good old Manitoba, you never know what she’s going to throw at you,” Slawinski said.

Regarding the slaughter sale at Gladstone on April 20, he said cow and bull prices were very strong. Cows went for $97-$97.50 per hundredweight and bulls up to $117/cwt.

“I’d say the slaughter market was up a good (amount) from where they were all winter,” he said, noting it simply comes down to supply and demand.

“It’s all the same buyers fighting over the same cattle. We’re not seeing a huge amount of slaughter cattle right now.”

In that slaughter market, D1-D2 cows sold for $75/cwt at the low end in Gladstone, up to above $102 at Ashern. D3-D5 cows ranged from $40/cwt at Gladstone to $97.50 at the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart, which had its sale on April 20.

Bulls sold between $98/cwt at Ashern and as much as $126 at the Heartland Livestock Services auction in Virden on April 21.

As for the feeder market, Slawinski said there were good gains in most of the weight classes at Gladstone and Ashern.

“All the cattle have quite a bit of demand. They can go pretty much anywhere. If they’re smaller, they can go into dry lot.”

The heavier cattle also fetched “pretty good coin” this week, despite grain prices and cattle futures, he said.

In the 700- to 800-lb. class of feeder steers, sale prices for the week were as low as $165/cwt at Gladstone and as high as $216 at the Winnipeg Livestock Sales auction on April 16. Feeder heifers in the same class garnered $150/cwt at Ashern and Winnipeg on the low end and up to $188 at Heartland’s Brandon sale on April 20.

“Maybe there’s some optimism going forward that there might be a shortage come fall time,” Slawinski said.

With auctions catching up on the number of head passing through, the auctioneer said the amount of cattle should return to normal for this time of year, then taper off closer to summer.

Gladstone will keep with its weekly auctions until the middle of May, he said, then switch to biweekly going into June.

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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