Only one cattle sale was held in Manitoba during the week, as most markets are either closed for the summer or running at a reduced schedule. Therefore we won’t carry the usual price table this week.
Winnipeg Livestock Sales held a sale on Friday where 200 cattle moved through the rings.
“It was short and sweet,” said field rep Scott Anderson. About three-quarters of the animals for sale were butcher cattle, with only 50 feeders on offer. Of those feeders, the majority were Holsteins, making it difficult to get an exact read on the local market.
Overall, Anderson said the downtrend of the past month remained intact, with cows and bulls both a bit easier from the previous sale two weeks ago.
At this time of year, “it’s tough for anyone to get too aggressive from a buyer’s standpoint, because it’s tough to get anything together as far as loads,” said Anderson.
Cattle are out to grass and pasture conditions are looking relatively favourable in most areas.
“It started out dry, but it’s improved and the rain today (Friday) will certainly help,” said Anderson.
Winnipeg’s next sale will be held on August 11, after the August long weekend. Heartland Virden, Heartland Brandon, and the Grunthal Auction Mart are all scheduled to hold sales during the week of July 24-28.
The USDA’s cattle-on-feed report was released Friday afternoon, July 21, with feedlot placements in June coming in well above expectations. Placements of 1.77 million head during the month were up 16 per cent from a year ago. The drought in North Dakota and Montana was said to be behind the increase, as the poor pasture conditions had ranchers moving cattle to market earlier than normal.
Total U.S. cattle on feed in commercial feedlots (above 1,000 head) hit 10.8 million as of July 1, which was up four per cent from the same point a year ago. The rising supply beat market expectations and was expected to have a bearish influence on the North American cattle market.
In Canada, feedlot supply in Alberta and Saskatchewan as of July 1 came in at 789,835 head, according to a report from CanFax. That was up four per cent from the five-year average. Canadian placements in June of 64,534 head were up five per cent from 2016, marking the fifth straight month of increases.