Cautious breeding sheep sales see some averages back

The latest breeding sheep sales over the bank holiday weekend have continued to show buyer caution and smaller lambs, with average back significantly on the year.

Thame sheep fair saw £8-£20 a head back on the year and now Bentham and Stirling (United Auctions) have followed suit.

Stirling United Auctions

Overall averages were back £4 a head across 5,016 breeding sheep to leave a £126.62 sale average.

Texel-cross gimmers and Suffolk-cross gimmers were back the most, while accredited Scotch Mule gimmers averaged £141.73, only slipping back 7p a head on the year.

See also: Thame averages slide £12.50 as drought affects buyers’ pockets

Non-accredited Scotch Mule gimmers were £5.91 cheaper at £122.65, finishing just ahead of Cheviot Mule gimmers at £120.99.

Suffolk-cross gimmers made £114.57, a drop of over £18 on the year, while Texel-crosses hit £115.68, a drop of £21.22.

Bentham Auction Mart

Crossbred continental shearlings were back £9.86 to average £126.12 for what was reported as a strong entry.

Trade topped at £270 with a pen from Harry Carter, Ellel, followed by a pen of ten from TJ Jackson, Whittington, hitting £235.

Taking home £260 and the first place prize for mule shearlings was Chris Hewitt, Low Bentham

Mule Shearlings were also back, slipping £13.45 to £126.75. Prices topped at £260 for the first prize pen of 10 from Chris Hewitt, Low Bentham. Mr Hewitt also saw a call of £245 to the same purchaser, Frankland Farms, Rathmell, Settle.

However, strong demand for Masham shearlings lifted averages £14.59 on the year to £140.94.

Cheviot mule shearlings also saw good demand hitting £165 twice and averaging £131.05.

More runners at Longtown

A larger turnout of breeding sheep across all classes and the fact that a lot of entries were smaller meant averages slipped back over £20 on the phenomenal 2017 sale at Longtown’s annual Cheviot mule sale on 28 August.

Headline prices from R McNee, Over Finlarg, matched last year’s record price of £210 from the McNees.

The Championship went to Mr Hedley, Townfoot, who saw a £160 bid

The ewe lamb championship pen, as judged by WR Williams, Ty-Hen, Gwynedd, went to PW Hedley, Swinside, Jedburgh, which was sold for £160, while the shearling championship pen from Archbank Farming Company, Moffatt, sold to Messrs Parkin, Maryport, for £185.

Cheviot mule lambs sold to £114 for Texel crosses from Messrs Smith, West Bolton, with other prices at £106, £101, £100 and many entries around £90-£98.

Averages: 6,414 (+1,070) Cheviot mule ewe lambs, £87.33 (-£27.37); 1,661 (+531) Cheviot mule-cross ewe lambs, £84.89 (-£17.87); 2,878 (+324) Cheviot mule shearlings, £139.15 (-£14.91); 216 Cheviot mule-cross shearlings, £126.44.

(C&D Marts)