There was an exceptional prime hogg trade at CCM Skipton’s weekly sale on Monday, boosted by tighter numbers and all buyers operating at full throttle.

 

Strong demand kept the overall average at over 200p/kg. The 1,501 hoggs entered achieved £88.56 a head overall, or 205.7p/kg, compared to £81.91 and 195.5p/kg the previous week.

 

Once again, the emphasis was on meat, as purchasers sought well-fleshed sorts, which achieved 220-240p/kg, with heavier 46kg+ entries regularly making £100 a head and more. The better end of the stores and under finished hoggs sold at 160-200p/kg.

 

Texels pens from James Hall, Darnbrook, and Brian Dibb, Yeadon, headed both a head and by-weight prices at £117.50 and 261.9p/kg respectively.

 

Conversely, while there was a larger entry of 92 Spring lambs, quality was mixed, with plenty of weight about in the 46-50kg range not helping the overall average, coupled with the fact  butcher and wholesale buyers are still to make the transition to Spring lambs in large numbers.

 

As a result, prices were cheaper on the week at an overall average of £98.25 a head, or 231.6p/kg. A Charollais pen from DN Smith, Lothersdale, topped both the a head and by-weight prices at £114.50 and 260.2p/kg.

 

 

With additional buyers operating, a big show of ewes met with good trade. Cull ewes climbed to £119.50 a head for a Texel pen from Simon Bennett, Silsden Moor, producing an overall average of £51.42 each, a shade higher on the week.

 

Cast rams were  more than £3 a head better on the week, with another Texel from John Mellin, Wigglesworth, top at £97.50.

 

Larger numbers of ewes and lambs, comprising 265 ewes, shearlings and hoggs with 413 lambs at foot, were of mixed quality, resulting in trade the equivalent of £5 a life down on the week.

 

Older ewes with twin outfits sold at £135 to £150 an outfit, or £45-50 a life, with younger sorts making up to £195 a outfit. Plainer ewes and younger lambs sold at around £120 for twins and £80-85 for singles.

 

 In the prime cattle section, there was little change in trade for the 22 cast cows submitted this week, and while a useful entry of feeding cattle met a strong demand there was a shortage of fed cattle and a high percentage of worn dairy cattle.  This can be put down to the fact with a slight improvement in conditions and the possible onset of Spring, farmers are now beginning to hang on to cattle ready for turn-out.

 

The overall cull cow average was £748.24 a head, or 122.90p/kg, with a leading a head price of £1,000 for a black and white from Ralph Guy, Earby, and a by-weight top of 171.5p/kg for a Limousin-x from G and PS Fleetwood, Mirfield.

 

Roger Wood, Cross Roads, achieved the top two a head prices in the section for clean cattle under 30 months, with a British Blue-x heifer at £1,339, 219.5p/kg, and a Blonde-x heifer at £1,267, 193.5p/kg.

Clean heifers over 30 months averaged £944.28 per head, or 169.63p/kg. A Hereford-x entry from Coverdale’s David and Diane Findlay, was best on price at £1,201, with a by-weight top of 189.5p/kg for a Limousin-x from Gargrave’s John Beckwith.