A sharper trade for all ages of store cattle and suckled calves at Hexham and Northern Marts’ recent sale saw an entry of 551 top at £745 for a 20-month old Limousin steers from vendor Kirkley Marsh and £705 for similar aged Charolais cross heifers from Tenter House.

Younger cattle (11-16 months) also saw an improvement in trade. Topping this section were Limousin cross steers from Messrs Blackburn that made £695. Cattle under 10 months old topped at £635 for Blonde cross steers from vendor Low Houselope, report auctioneers.Small increase in prime sheep prices had a knock-on effect at the Marts’ recent sale of breeding sheep where prices topped £29 a head for Texel ewe lambs with Jacobs at £24 apiece and Blackface £18 apiece.

The store lamb trade was also sharper on the week seeing Texel cross lambs top £38 apiece, Suffolk cross £35.50 apiece and Beltex £32.50 apiece.

Continental breed feeding ewes saw £27-31 a head paid for better, well fleshed entries, report auctioneers.