Cull cow trade “best in living memory” at Skipton

Trade for cull cows was described as “the best in living memory” by Craven Cattle Marts’ general manager Jeremy Eaton following the weekly sale at Skipton Auction Mart, on Monday.


For the first time ever, cull cows averaged a shade over £900 a head, or 132.74p/kg. Of the 42-strong entry, 27 were dairy cows, which themselves averaged over £850 a head.


In the prime cattle section, bulls up to 650kg averaged 195.33p/kg, with heavier bulls averaging 186.24p/kg and 650kg+ prime steers 175.94p/kg. Prime heifers sold up to 590kg and averaged 227.50p/kg with heavier types at 187.84p/kg.


The overall selling average of 30 to 48-month-old prime cattle was 132.57p/kg, or £900.35 a head. Prices peaked at £1,351 for a black and white bull from D and C Cockburn, Ripley, while R G Church, Asquith, also achieved four figure prices for two British Blue-crosses, a heifer and a steer that both averaged 156.5p/kg.


Mr Eaton said: “The prime cattle side is a developing part of our business and we now have the support of buyers for cattle of all specs at our monthly shows. We are particularly keen to source more young bulls for our wholesale customers and more smart cattle for our increasing number of retailers.”


At the March prime cattle show, Brian Lund, of Walshaw, was champion with a 565kg Limousin-cross bull, which sold for £1,184, or 209.5p/kg, to Bowland Foods, Preston, on behalf of regular customer John Wilkinson Butchers in Ormskirk Market. 


The overall selling average for prime hoggs at Monday’s weekly sale was £83.34 a head, or 192.1p/kg.


Mr Eaton noted: “Sheep trade in general saw export weights and lightweights slightly better to sell, with commercial Texel lambs around 40kg making 205p to 215p. However, almost 1,000 hoggs out of 2,455 forward weighed 46kg or more, which again had an effect on the overall market average.


“Heavier types are sold on the home market where trade is extremely fickle because of competition from cheaper meats such as pork and poultry.”