Th o s e reefer trucks hauling Canadian beef into the U. S. shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a back-haul beyond the usual loads of fresh produce, although the drought in California will be cutting the West Coast production. So far this year there has been 162,117 thousand tonnes of American beef come north, about a third of what has gone the other direction. Just under half of our American importation was trim. Overall, trim makes up 68 per cent of all imports. The U. S. is supplying 55 per cent of all imports and Australia and New Zealand are supplying another 12 per cent so far in 2009 according to Ag Canada. Other countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil have sold us 29 per cent.
The cow market south of the line will have a boost in supply as the dairy farms go into another industry-led herd retirement round to shorten the milk supply. Producers shipping their cows agree to stay out of the business for 12 months. Expectations are for 10,000 to 5,000 cows per week from the program to end up at slaughter plants over the next five months. That would be about a 10 per cent increase in supply to the 110,000 cows per week that have been going through American plants of late.
A good turnout all round for Ste. Rose last week. The bleachers had a good number of consignors awaiting the cheques for the 1,500 head in the pens including 260 cows. There was a couple of producers on the purchasing end of the lighter grassers, adding a couple of pennies that otherwise might not have been offered from the front row.
Courtesy of the chauffeuring friend, we caught the cows an hour along and then two-thirds of the feeders. The largest volumes were in the 5-weight steers, followed by 6-weight steers and the 5-weight heifers.
Light steers were led by some little packages that pushed 17 per cent up to the $1.30 mark, the peak a couple of pennies past that for some 399-lb. Angus-Xs ($567). The 51 per cent majority was in the $1.20s leaving the gutty 425-lb. Char-X at $1.06 ($450).
Little heifers were the recipients of the local interest for the most part. It was the orders though that brought the top 8 per cent over the $1.20 mark, led by the 438-lb. Char-Simm-Red Angus for $1.27 ($556). The next 52 per cent traded in the dollar-teens and 40 per cent sold under $1.10.
Steers at 5s fit into the orders with 18 per cent in the $1.20s, 58 per cent in the dollar-teens and 22 per cent under $1.10. Heifers at 5s had 69 per cent over $1.10, 23 per cent over the dollar, again with some little groups including the double vaccinated and age-verified 577-lb. Angus-Simms at $1.08 ($523). Up top were the 515-lb. Char-Xs at $1.23 ($633). Some 565-lb. Char-Simms sold at $1.16 ($655). The last 17 per cent were under the buck.
As the grass gets closer, the heavier feeders seem to find a little more favour. Six-weight steers sorted into 44 per cent over $1.15, 28 per cent over $1.10 and 24 per cent under $1.10. Off the peak of $1.21, the 610-lb. Red Angus-Simms sold for $1.19 ($726) and the 665-lb. Char-Xs brought $1.14 ($758). Some 698-lb. Chars stopped at $1.04 ($726). A discount for the coarse heads on the 655-lb. Simms set them at 94 cents ($615).
Steers at 7s were sent to a top of $1.10 for the 730-lb. Angus-Xs ($803) and the big 791-lb. Char-Xs trailed by a touch at $1.08 ($854) as 81 per cent sold over the dollar and 19 per cent were under.
Selling the 6-weight heifers was a job that brought in bids over $1.05, 38 per cent of the time and 62 per cent of the final bids were under $1.05. The height was hit by the 620-lb. red Simms at $1.10 ($682) with some 678-lb. Char-Sims selling at $1.07 ($725). The gut on the 640-lb. black-white face set her at 96 cents ($614). Heifers at 7s were able to crack the buck with 20 per cent and the other 80 per cent were snugged up within the next dime lower for the most part. From the height of $1.03, the 715-lb. Char-Simm looked over the rest ($736) which included the 778-lb. Red Angus-Simms at $1, and the 710-lb. Gelbvieh-X at 97 cents ($689). The buttery 758-lb. Char-Simms were stalled at 85 cents ($644).
The page of 8-weight steers sold with 56 per cent above the buck topping at $1.07 and the 871-lb. Char-Xs were priced at $1.01 ($979). The coarse 890-lb. Char-Simms stayed at 83 cents ($738) Nines were restricted to the 90s. Some 948-lb. Char-Xs sold for 95 cents (900 and the 1,055-lb. Char-X traded at 90 cents ($949).
On the heifers at 8s we watched 63 per cent sell over 95 cents and 37 per cent under 95 cents. Interest ran out at 98 cents for the 826-lb. Red Angus-Simms ($809) and a big package of 876-lb. Char-Simm-Red Angus garnered 96 cents ($841) The pre-conditioning and age verification couldn’t counteract the extra bark on the 825-lb. Char-Simms so they sold for 85 cents ($701). Looking a little pregnant put the the 885-lb. Angus at 69 cents ($610). On the bigger heifers it was an 80-something final bid. The 908-lb. (Char-Simm-Red Angus sold at 87 cents ($899), the 990-lb. Char-smokey settled at 85 cents ($841) and the 1,002-lb. Char-Herf brought 81 cents ($811).
The Manitoba auction rings were reporting 87 cents for the best fats. Alberta steers have seen better bids of late getting to a 97-cent average or $1.65 on the rail. Ontario steers have topped the dollar up to a reported $1.12 for an average of 98 cents and heifers a penny back.
Nebraska-way, fats were being bought at US83 cents (C99 cents) or US$1.34 on the rail (C$1.61)
Ste. Rose cows including the heiferettes had 24 per cent over 60 cents, 45 per cent in the 50s and 31 per cent under 50. Birth certificates were travelling with a fair number of the 50-cent-or-better cows. A 1,425-lb. Char-Simm heifer sold for 76 cents ($1,083), the age-verified 1,152-lb. Simms sold for 61 cents ($703) and the older 1615-lb. Char-Simm sold at 49 cents ($791). A trio of 1,338-lb. Char-Gelbvieh not carrying much cover came to a 39-cent conclusion ($522).
Big American-style bulls were reported up to 72 cents but the yield on the 1,450-lb. Herf apparently held him back, down at 42 cents ($609) and the youngish 1,865-lb. Simm was set at 45 cents ($839).