Everyone has been talking up the early season breeding trade and it appears from Tuesday’s sale in Exeter that it hasn’t been all talk and no action with the overall sale average for the 3706 ewes offered climbing by a startling £30 on the year.
Trade for shearling ewes was strong throughout the sale with top price of the say given for pure Dorset ewes at £135. These were from C E Ayre and Sons, South Molton. Scoth Halfbreds sold to a top price of £134 from J C and H E Putt, Tedburn St Mary, while the best Mules hit £114 for N Dennis, Newton Abbot. This vendors run of 260 Mules levelled the day at £101.50.
And Suffolk x Mules were also keenly sought after, with the top call for these being a £130 bid for some from S Parker, Chulmleigh. This run of 101 averaged £118, with the best average among these being £121.30 for 104 from R Banks, Farway.
Remarkably, older ewes were also in demand, with the many of these making in excess of £80/head. Top price ws £124/head paid for four tooth Poll Dorsets from C E Ayre and Son.
The 105 rams on offer met a fair trade too, topping at £445 for a Suffolk from Messrs Drake, North Tawton. At £400 was another from the same vendor and at the same money was a Charollais from E W Quick and Son, Zeal Monachorum.
It all makes encouraging reading for the upcoming sales season and we can only hope that this early optimism lasts into the main sales in the next few months.