Auction markets around the country have been reporting an improved prime lamb trade this week.
At Ashford market in Kent an entry of 2,515 finished lambs and hoggets met an improved trade on the week, with auctioneers Hobbs Parker attributing the cause to a tightening of suppliers and an improvement in the exchange rate.
There were big premiums available for the best continental crosses, with a consignment of 41kg lambs from GH Dean topping the prices on a kilo basis at £91.50 (223p/kg) – up from a top price of 210p/kg last week.
Top price a head of £100 went to the Link Brothers’ heavy 51kg lambs.
Auctioneers said well-fleshed lambs were the pick of the trade while leaner sorts, although wanted, sold at lower prices to reflect poorer killing out percentage.
At Rugby market this week auctioneers also reported an improved trade due to a favourable euro exchange, with buyers out in force.
The SQQ on Monday (27 June) was 200.44p/kg (up from 188p/kg the previous week) with a total of 2,536 lambs meeting a fast trade.
Achieving the day’s top price a kilo was 40kg Rouge lambs from S Philips, Tamworth, which sold for 220p/kg. WV Harrison and Son, Henley in Arden, matched this twice with a run of more than 100 lambs.
The third vendor to sell at 220p/kg was Dave Mitchell with a consignment of 39.5kg Beltex lambs. Overall, 250 lambs traded over 210p/kg.
Top price a head was £102. This was paid twice for 55kg Charollais from Brian Mawby and DW Guerney.
Further north a sharp increase in prime lamb numbers at Skipton Auction Mart on Monday met strong demand from 16 principal buyers at the ringside.
This resulted in an improved trade on the week, with an entry of 2,094 averaging £81.31 a head, or 203.5p/kg, overall – up from 195p the week before.
A top price of 243.6p/kg, or £95 a head, fell to a 39kg Beltex-cross pen from Mark Townley, Claughton, Lancaster, while Nicky Capstick, of Bolton-by-Bowland, hit 242.9p/kg, or £85 a head, with his 35kg Beltex. Both pens were purchased by Vivers Scotlamb, of Annan.
The day’s leading price a head at £115 went to James Spensley, of Elslack, with a 54kg Texel pen. This pen sold to Hartwith’s Nick Dalby, who was buying on behalf of Kendalls Farm Butchers in Pateley Bridge.
Trade generally was 205-215p/ kg for nice prime lambs and either side of £2 for commercial types.