A MUCH larger Monday turnout of 4,049 prime and cast sheep at Skipton Auction Mart also saw prices well up on the week, with multiple three-figure pen prices throughout.

First into the new sales ring were 62 Spring lambs and, with numbers way short of requirements, these set the pace for the day when selling to an overall average of £135.36 per head, or 320.14p/kg. Robert Towers, of Farleton, Lancaster, who has made a real early season impact at the mart with his Charollais Spring lambs, was on song yet again with the joint top price £162 per head duo, bought by D&J Isherwood Butchers in Silsden,

Another Charollais stalwart, Charles Marwood, of Whenby, York, also hit £162 per head, or top price by-weight 356.4p/kg, with a pen bought by Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson on behalf of a wholesaler customer. The day’s 360p/kg high, or £144 per head, fell to a Texel pen from D&A Livestock, of Haverah Park, Harrogate, again selling to Andrew Atkinson for West Scottish Lamb in Carlisle.

A more mixed entry of 3,510 old season lambs also produced great trade, selling to an overall average of £122.90 per head, or 281.3p/kg. While there was a general shortage of the very smartest hoggs, those sold were able to command solid prices of 340p to 400p/kg.

Andrew Phillips, of Burton Leonard, excelled again when topping the per kilo prices with a 402.8p, or £145 per head Beltex pen bought by Vivers Scotlamb in Annam. Other pens from the same vendor also sold to a high of £170.

The leading per head price of £172 each fell to an offering from award-winning South Yorkshire Texel breeder Peter Longdin, of Wellingley, Doncaster. These went to Worsley Wholesale Butchers in Dewsbury. Some extremely good heavy hoggs saw the best sell away at £110-£115 over the weight, with nice sorts making £100-£110 and well-fleshed commercials £85-£100.

Some good runs of hill-bred sheep were generally around the £80 to £85-plus region, or 250p/kg. Mules sold to a high of £141 each, these from NEMSA chairman Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses, and £138 from Bernard Simpson, of Pateley Bridge. Colin Middleton, of Mitton, Whalley, also did extremely well with 62kg Cheviot hoggs that sold to a top of £166 each.

Lightweight horned lambs were good to sell if well fleshed, the best end making 230-255pkg, plainer sorts 210-230p.

Getting on for 500 cast sheep were also penned for sale and, with a shortage of heavy ewes, a high percentage of lean lightweight sheep on the back of recent poor weather met with an exceptional trade. The overall cull ewe average of £84.50 was seen as a good return. D and A Livestock in Haverah Park, Harrogate, again caught the eye with Texel pens sold to £158.50 per head. Cast rams averaged £129.50 each. Also sold were 629 store and breeding sheep, with quality outfits again in high demand, notably younger ewes with strong lambs at foot.