CHAIN LAKES, Alta. — The results of Canada’s largest yearling sale held Aug. 9 in Alberta could be a sign of what is coming for beef markets this fall.
“We have always been near the top of the market in Canada,” said Justin Keeley, one of the sale organizers.
The Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange held its fourth annual yearling sale at Chain Lakes offering 13,500 head which sold in about three hours via video. The sales hall was standing room only as each lot was shown on one of three large television screens and sold live at the site as well as over the internet and on the phone.
Prices were higher for all weight classes of steers and heifers selected from central interior British Columbia to southeastern Saskatchewan.
“If the buyers want cattle they are going to have to pay for them,” said Keeley after the sale, which offered 62 lots of cattle varying in weight from 700 to 1,000 pounds.
With feed grains coming down in price, the profit picture may start to shift for the feedlot sector and increase its ability to pay more for calves so everyone can enjoy improved margins this year.
“Every sector of the industry needs to make money, “ he said.
Sale organizers take a one percent buyers’ fee and necessary taxes. Cattle are delivered to the buyers at a later date so there is no stress of sorting or transporting more than once.
Many of the offerings were British-based cattle on full herd health programs and some had not received growth hormone implants.
There were 23 lots of heifers with the average base weight of 850 pounds and in a weight range of 750-1,025 pounds. Prices ranged from $123.50-$143.25 per hundredweight.
The large lots of steers consisting of 43 to 400 animals in a single group ranged from 750-1,031 pounds with a price range of $130-$152 per cwt.
For the week ending Aug. 9, Canfax had small volumes to report for comparison purposes. Alberta steers weighing 700-800 pounds sold for $138-$158 while heifers in the same weight class fetched $125-$142.
This event earned $150.75-$153.50 per cwt. for steers and $142.75-$143.25 per cwt. for heifers.
Canfax said steers weighing 800-900 pounds were $130-$148 per cwt.and heifers were $118-$137 per cwt.
This auction had steers in the same weight range selling for $138.75-$148.75 per cwt. and heifers were $131.75-$143 per cwt.
Canfax steers in the 900 pound or larger class were $130-$142 per cwt. and heifers were $117-$134 per cwt. This sale sold the same class for $130-$144.75 and heifers $123.50-$136.25.
The SALEs group plans a similar video sale Sept. 6 offering up to 16,000 feeder calves at the Highwood Auction at High River.