SO that is the end of markets for 2013 - thank heaven for that.
It certainly has not been a pin-up year for livestock producers.
The last part of 2013 has really tested the mettle of producers, particularly those who breed or finish cattle.
Lamb producers have had a reasonable run throughout the year without gaining any outstanding returns. A resurgent wool market has helped their bottomlines in a year where prices for lambs seemed to have stalled at about $4 a kilogram carcaseweight.
Cattle producers have really copped it in the neck, especially during November.
Saleyard prices are depressed mainly because of a lack of abattoir slaughter space. I could not begin to recount the number of times that buyers have told me their works are full and that they are only appearing at markets to buy a few token cattle and to keep the opposition honest.
The one exception has been good-quality vealers out of the South East.
Their prices were in the doldrums until the past few weeks when there seems to have been a slight reversal of fortunes with a stronger domestic demand becoming apparent.
This year has handed us some mixed blessings on the live export front. The good news was that shipping cattle to Indonesia was back on the go and despite a smaller quota some late additional orders proved a boon for northern cattlemen.
The bad news is the spectre of a total suspension of live export trade to the Middle East. It is infuriating to think that the future of this trade could hinge on the actions of some clown with an assault rifle.
I have not seen the footage but I am told by one bloke who is surely not a shrinking violet that it is so graphic that he couldn't watch all of it because it was so sickening.
I have been known to rail against Animals Australia and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but they do have a point about the treatment of our livestock overseas.
Unfortunately I cannot see how the best governance in the world can stop the actions of one rogue in a foreign country.
It has been a year of mixed fortunes for agents. Elders' ongoing problems have regularly made the news - some branches and staff getting the chop were no great surprise to anyone, but their announcement of a $505m loss stunned most people in the livestock industry, and many are still grappling with the magnitude of the loss.
Malcolm Jackman's exit as chief executive officer was a predictable fallout from the announcement.
I suppose the best we can do is hoist a glass of cheer to see-off the year and hope like hell that 2014 brings us more fortune than this year.
Have a safe and merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
* Full report in Stock Journal, December 19 issue, 2013.