15 January 1999

Call for heavy cull weights

HEAVY cull ewes are in strong demand – in contrast to their lighter counterparts.

The 537 heavyweights sold at marts on Monday averaged £30.56/head, a rise of more than £3 on the week. Lighter sorts, tot-alling 6470, levelled at £13 apiece.

The bigger ewes are in short supply, says Holsworthy, Cornwall auctioneer Steve Prouse. "The wet weather means ewes arent as well fleshed as in previous years. There are a lot more lighter, plainer ones." The smallest sorts are, says Mr Prouse, changing hands for between £2.50 and £7.

According to Neil McCleary, auctioneer at Longtown, Cumbria, prices could keep rising, if the number on offer falls.

"If the finished lamb market moves up – and it looks like it will – the ewes will follow suit." &#42