Cattle prices continue to soar in Canada

LETHBRIDGE – Big dollars and even bigger pay cheques rolled through the Balog Auction house in 2014, which is right on the money for owner and auctioneer Bob Balog.

“I’ve been in the industry all my life and I’ve been in the auction industry for 44 years…last year was the most spectacular year I’ve ever seen,” said Balog.

The boom in business was needed after the cattle industry suffered a decade of big blows thanks to BSE.

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“We had record prices, we had a lot of cattle to sell. It was long overdue and very deserving for the primary producer who has waited a long time for this after BSE.”

In the last year, the price of cattle in Canada has doubled. That may seem strange considering Alberta’s current economy, but Balog says it all comes down to supply and demand.

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Not everyone is getting the top grade though, as feed lot operators are carrying more risk.

“The working capital has doubled or tripled in the last couple of years,” said Brent Chaffee, who runs a feed lot near Strathmore.

As for consumers at the meat counter, the cost should stay steady if producers keep more cattle at home.

When it comes to 2015, Balog believes it will be another record breaking year.

“They could easily be 15 to 20 cents a pound higher, just due to supply and demand.”

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