With high prime lamb and cull prices it was to be expected that the early season breeding ewe sales would see a strong trade, but I certainly hadn’t thought it would hot up as much as it did in Exeter last Friday.
Overall the 1015 ewes and ewe lambs forward met a massive demand, with a 100% clearance and the entire entry levelling at £106.50.
Trade was topped by a £129/head call for Dorset shearlings from D J Pugsley of Barnstaple whose 38 forward averaged £128.26. Meanwhile Dorset x Mule shearlings topped at £124 twice for pens from K L and B L Cole, Tiverton and D W C Elworthy, Umberleigh.
Suffolk x Mule shearlings hit a peak of £120 twice for those from R G and A E Dennis, Totnes and J W Mead, South Brent.
And older ewes were also in demand too, topping at £104/head for a pen of Continental cross six tooth and full mouth ewes from N Clothier and Sons, Ston Easton.
Rams were also in demand, although prices in this section were a little more lacklustre, bearing in mind the flying lamb trade seen earlier in the year. Top call was a £445 call for a Dorset tup lamb from Messrs Clarke, while Charollais hit £400 for one from Messrs Keast.
But with the old adage of the tup being worth ten of his progeny and early season lambs well in excess of £80/head, this is a way short of where some breeders would want tup prices to be, albeit a shade early for the main ram trade. Overall all tups forward levelled at £282.50 for 71 sold.