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Few market pressures translate to steady prices

Cattle auctions across Manitoba saw fully steady prices during the week ended June 22, as the number of cattle for sale was similar to the week prior, an industry official said.

“We had a few less head this week — we had 330, and last week we had about 390,” said Scott Anderson, a field representative with Winnipeg Livestock Sales.

Prices were steady because there weren’t many factors putting pressure either way on the market, he said.

“There’s been no big sudden fluctuation so I think that’s probably the main reason why everything was fairly steady this week,” he said.

The summer months aren’t as busy for cattle auction markets in Manitoba, and some shut down over the summer or hold fewer sales. See the schedule here for a list of when markets are holding sales throughout the summer.

Note: Ste. Rose Auction Mart was supposed to hold its final sale until the fall on June 21. However, it will hold one more sale on Thursday (June 28) because of the excessive rain that occurred during the week. The market requests that you call ahead to consign your cattle.

Please also note that there was no market report for Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart this week.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales will hold sales throughout the summer, and Anderson said the market has been better than in previous years. Prices have been good for producers, so they’re more enticed to send their cattle to auction at this time of year.

“I think a lot of producers are keeping their herds current because it has been a stronger market than in previous years,” he said. Demand locally has been stronger than in the past, and slaughter cattle are in high demand at this time of the year.

“There’s strong demand for slaughter cattle because more hamburger meat is used, and more cheaper cuts because it’s barbecue season,” he said.

Prior to the week of June 18-22, there had been a lot of contracting of cattle for delivery during the fall months between Manitoba producers and foreign buyers, mainly in the U.S. Producers were happy to lock in prices as they were strong, and U.S. buyers were more interested because the value of their dollar versus the Canadian dollar was a lot stronger at the time.

However, contracting was seemingly slowing down during the week ended June 22, Anderson said.

“I think just this past week some of the corn prices came back and got a little stronger and I think that maybe made a few guys back off that were contracting those cattle,” he said.

Anderson said most of the cattle that were contracted were yearling cattle, and the action may have an effect on markets come the fall.

“It might mean that in September not as many yearling cattle will be for sale because a lot of them are already looked after or sold now,” he said.

About the author

Columnist

Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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