Culls dominate Manitoba cattle markets

Most facilities are already on summer schedule


By Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm, Columnist

via Manitoba Co-operator - June 26, 2020


Cull cows accounted for most of the cattle moving through the Manitoba cattle auction yards in mid-June, with facilities already closed for the summer or operating at a reduced schedule.


“We’re seeing large volumes of cows come into the market in Manitoba,” said Rick Wright of Heartland Order Buying, adding that prices were relatively steady during the week after dipping earlier in the month. “Our cow market in Manitoba is probably as strong as any place in Western Canada,” he added, noting that Manitoba cows benefit from being closer to United States markets than those marketed in Saskatchewan or Alberta.


For feeder cattle, “the guys are putting together the last bit of grass cattle to go out,” said Wright. Light cattle were seeing decent prices, with some interest on the medium-weight animals as well.


Steers in the 400- to 500-pound range were priced anywhere from $200 to $250 per hundredweight. Heifers in the same weight class generally brought $190 to $215 per hundredweight.


“Feedlots are moving some fed cattle and are getting some space, but with the way the market is looking for the next 90 days they are very cautious about putting new inventory in,” said Wright.


The slaughter pace in the country is well behind normal due to COVID disruptions, which means there are still huge numbers of fed calves to come to market. Boxed beef prices are weak as a result, which should keep pressure on all aspects of the cattle sector going forward.


The finished market could get pretty ugly before things turn around, and it will take a long time to work through the backlog caused by the COVID-19 disruptions, said Wright...


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