The storming cull ewe trade seen at the beginning of last week continued at marts across the country at the end of last week and mart reports from yesterday make for similar reading to those last week with prices climbing again.

Supply is seemingly unable to keep up with demand and prices topping £150/head at a number of markets.

At Longtown last Thursday centre records were broken with the 3743 cull ewes and rams offered averaging a remarkable £100.42, with 239 of the 441 lots forward making more than £100. Topping the trade was a £187.50 bid for heavy Texel ewes, with others of the same breed making £185.50 and Suffolks reaching a top of £184.50. North Country Cheviots made up to £150.50, while South Country Cheviots topped at £97.50. Romneys topped at £141.50.

Leading the cull rams on the same day were Suffolks at £178.50, while top price Texels were £177.50,

Last Friday saw a top call of £172.50 for Texel ewes at Thainestone, where the 555 ewes forward sold to level at £95.02, including Suffolks to £138.50 and Blackface to £85.50.

Meanwhile, at Exeter on Monday trade was as strong as anyone present could remember with a top call of £150 paid for Charollais ewes from Messrs R J and M Pedrick, Buckfastleigh. Suffolks at the same centre sold to a peak of £141, while Mules made up to £111. Overall the 353 ewes forward averaged £95.14.

And at St Boswells on the same day trade was led at a startling £205 by a pen of Texels from S Henderson, Weston, Deskford, Aberdeenshire. The total entry of 525 ewes sold to average £92.36, up £7.50 on the week before.

The question is of course why are prices so high, well, apart from there being fewer about there may be another answer: I cashed all the culls at home back in October and November, trust me to miss the best of the trade!