Prices for the couples being offered in south west markets in recent weeks are looking good, with Sedgemoor’s entry on Saturday levelling at £48.11/life.

This entry of 198 ewes and 281 lambs was topped at £66/life for full mouth Suffolk cross ewes with pairs from J L Trott and Partners, others from the same vendor sold for £64 a life. Messrs D and S Cheacker, meanwhile, sold ewes with pairs of lambs to £62.67/life. Ewes with singles sold to a top of £68/life for J Turney.

Meanwhile, the day before in Exeter, the trade was led at £60.66 a life for ewes with pairs from N Heath and Son, with singles led at £67.50 a life for some from the same vendor.

Prices seem to be running high on the back of the cull ewe trade and also the encouraging signs for the early new season lamb trade currently being enjoyed in the region. Top call at Exeter yesterday (Monday) was a £98.20 bid, with the 268 lambs forward averaging £93.74 and 227.24p/kg. But vendors were warned not to get lambs too heavy with lambs wanted at the crucial 38-40kg weight and not beyond.

Cull ewes meanwhile are still a strong trade across the country, top call at St Boswells yesterday was a bid of £150 for Suffolks from Huntington, Lauder, and Texels from Messrs Home Robertson, Over Howden. The 579 ewes forward averaged £65.11/head with plenty of Suffolk cross ewes at £100 and above.

At Carlisle the cull ewe prices were led at £113.50/head by Texels from Shield Green, with others of the same breed at £110.50.