Flying trade at Thame sets tone for breeding sheep sales

The 80-90% reduction in footfall due to the coronavirus pandemic didn’t affect prices at Thame Summer Sheep Sale last week (5-7 August), where averages were up £14 on the year.

Beltex and Texel cross averages were up by £31.62 and £29.83, respectively (see table).

Auctioneer Simon Draper said: “We thought everything would be a little bit firmer than last year, but were surprised by how much.

“Sheep trade has been really good. People sold lambs for £100 in July, which is most unusual. And there has been decent ewe trade because of the [Eid al-Adha] festival, so buyers had money in their pockets.”

The sale took a slightly different format this year, with no rams or lambs sold, and the sale was extended to three days to allow for distancing measures.

See also: Early breeding sheep sales up £10-20 on the year

Beltex and Beltex cross pens topped the sale, with shearlings and ewes knocked down at £295 a head. The shearlings came from the run of GE Haynes and Son, Winslow, Buckinghamshire, while the pair of purebred older ewes were consigned by DG and GA Davies, Llangadog, Camarthenshire.

Texel and Texel cross made £260 a head for a consignment from Gore Farm, Chearsley, Bucks, followed by a bid of £248 a head for a pen from Seabrook Partners, Cheddington, Buckinghamshire.

hundreds of sheep in pens at Thame

© Tim Scrivener

Texel cross North of England Mules topped at £188 apiece for a pen from Harrison Bros, Calverton, Buckinghamshire, whose consignment of 300 lambed theaves averaged £171.58.

Cheviot and Cheviot Mules traded to £188 each from GA Stephens, Kirby Bellars, Leicestershire.

Continental trade saw Charollais cross from VJ and ML Roots and Son, Wormington, Gloucestershire, sell to £220 a head, while J North and Son, Catesby, Northamptonshire, sold a run of dry Lleyns for £150 a head.

Suffolk crosses hit £198 twice for George Eaton, Tingewick, Buckinghamshire.

North of England Mules sold to £182 apiece for lambed ewes from J and H Tustian, Epwell, Oxfordshire.

Thame: How the averages compare

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

Beltex crosses

£162

£151.80

£137.60

£169.22

Texel crosses

£141.44

£133.10

£135.65

£165.48

Suffolk crosses

£158

£124.95

£132.33

£147.32

North of England Mules

£130.10

£117.69

£122

£138.27

Cheviot Mules

£138

£117.18

£122

£159

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