Skipton weekly round-up:Easter trade holds up

There was no let-up in livestock trade over Easter, as Skipton Auction Mart’s busy Monday bank holiday market again attracted good contingents of vendors and buyers.

Breeding sheep with lambs at foot are a familiar sight at this time of the year and the entry of 533 head for the weekly sale, with more younger sheep now coming through, produced sharper trade on the week, reflecting the better quality on offer.

Mule shearlings with twins sold to a high of £252 for a pen from N Pepper, Laneshawbridge, with Texel prices peaking at £270 for a pen of correct ewes with single lambs from Nick Dalby, Hartwith, who also sold a second pen at £250 per outfit.

An entry of 2,234 prime sheep, with hoggs well in the majority, produced anticipated dearer trade on the week for lightweight and export weight hoggs, with little change in heavy hogg prices.

The overall hoggs average of £89.33 per head, or 200.7p/kg, saw per head prices peak at £111 for a pen of Texels from Jim Baines, Trawden, with Beltex again notable performers, averaging a few pence short of £100 per head, 235p/kg, overall. Mr Baines achieved the best per weight price at 276.3p/kg, the per head prices led by Fox Farms, Clitheroe, at £109.

Teenager William Watson, of Hellifield, again performed well when presenting the pick of the Charollais hoggs at £106.50 each, 266.3p/kg.

A small entry of Spring lambs attracted spirited bidding to end dearer on the week at an overall average £127.25 per head, 268.37p/kg. The top performing pen of Charollais from DN Smith, Lothersdale, made £137, 291.5p/kg, with Suffolks from Steeton’s Mark Evans again to the fore when selling at a high of £130 each, 263.3p/kg.

Cull ewes sold to an overall average of £81.42 and to a high of £145.50 a head for a pen of Texel-x from JA Gibson & Son, York. Cast rams averaged £89.88 per head, topping out at £102.50 for an entry from A Hardy, Wilsden.

Prime cattle aged 30 to 48-months sold to an overall average of £953.51,138.52p/kg, with the leading per head and kilo price of £1,114, 148.5p/kg, falling to a black and white heifer from JP & KE Hartley, Beamsley, sold to Dawn Foods, Carnaby.

A small, but select turnout of under-30 months clean cattle, saw 551-650kg prime steers sell to a high of184.5p/kg from GW & EJ Parker, Bradley, to John Thompson, Preston, and to an overall average of 180.81p/kg.

Cull cows were again good to sell, averaging £903.81, 137.99p/kg. Top price both per head and by weight at £1,069, 146.5p/kg, fell to a Blonde from S Horsefield, Mytholmroyd, with J Wellock, Oakworth, and Geoff Booth, Lothersdale, also achieving four figures with their respective entries.

Rearing calf price averages were well up on the previous week at £214 per head, again selling to a high of £400 for a Limousin-x bull calf from AL Dean & Son, Threshfield. British Blue-x bull calves topped out at £326 for an entry from Nick Parker, Silsden, who also had the best of the British Blue-x heifer calves at £300. Limousin-x heifer calves sold to a high of £342 from JW Stockdale & Sons, Burnsall.