Sheep trade up and down the country remains strong with averages up at many auction marts.

At Kirkby Stephen Mart in Yorkshire, an entry of 1,129 prime sheep were put forward on Tuesday night, with auctioneers Harrison & Hetherington reporting a “fantastic” trade with a packed ringside.

The overall average was up 15p/kg on the week for a plainer show of hoggs being forward.

And the top price at the sale was 261p/kg for Beltex x hoggs from Messrs Smithson, Skelcies Hall – these were purchased by Dowding’s Butchers, Appleby.

At Ludlow Market in Shropshire, auctioneers McCartneys, said hogget trade was “stronger as was expected”. Their sale of 2,605 finished sheep on Monday, saw export quality hoggets the easiest to sell, with heavy hoggets taking a price rise of 5-10p/kg.

Export quality hoggets sold up to 225.5p/kg and averaged 218.4p/kg and home trade hoggets sold up to 214.5p/kg and averaged 208.6p/kg.

Meanwhile, they said there was a “blistering trade” with cull ews which sold up to £153 and an overall average of £93.03; killing rams sold to a peak of £98 and an overall average of £80.65.

Meanwhile further north at Lockerbie Mart, a total of 466 prime hoggs went under the hammer on Monday, with prices described as “dearer on the week” – the SQQ averaged 224.8/kg.

Also organised by auctioneers Harrison & Hetherington, this sale saw the tope price of £107 paid for a pen of Beltex from Mr B Ryder of Newton Cottage, while Mr T Johnstone of Hazelrigg sold a pen of 42kg Texels at £104 or 247.6p/kg.

One of the highlights of this sale was the suality of North Country Cheviot and Cheviot hoggs put forward – hill Cheviots from Hoddamtown and Dryfeholm sold to £100 for a pen of 43kg and 44kg animals.