IN the weekly round-up of sales at Skipton Auction Mart, spring lamb numbers took a seasonal increase at Monday’s sale, with the 2,129 on offer selling to an overall average just shy of 192p/kg, or £81.43 per head.

Heavy lambs maintained prices on the week from 190-210p/kg while handyweight lambs were again in strong demand for nicely finished 37-39kg types.

Two pens hit joint top of £114 per head - 53kg Texels from Trawden’s John Wood, claimed by Kendalls Farm Butchers in Pateley Bridge and Harrogate, and 57kg Suffolks from John Mellin, of Black Lane Ends, which fell to Swaledale Foods in Skipton.

Per kilo, Vivers Scotlamb in Annan was again the principal purchaser, buying pens to a top of 276.3p/kg, these for 38kg Beltex from E&M Townley in Clapham.

A larger entry of 311 cast sheep met an extremely competitive trade, levelling at £73 per head across all breeds.

The best Continental ewes sold up to £120 per head, these for Texels from Mark Crabtree in Kettlesing, claimed by Blackburn-based Lancashire Direct Halal Meats.

Other good sorts sold into three figures, with nice heavy ewes making in the £90s, the best Mule ewes touching £80 and the top end of the horned ewes selling in the £60s. Cull ewes averaged a solid £72.48 and cast rams £75.10.

Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton was again the principal purchaser when claiming five under 30-month prime cattle at Skipton Auction Mart’s weekly Monday sale, among them the leading priced 249.5p per kilo heifer from the Critchleys in Hutton, Preston. The 535kg Limousin-cross grossed up to £1,334.

Top gross of £1,394, or 232.5p/kg, fell to a 575kg Limousin-cross heifer from Threshfield brothers, Charles and Richard Kitching, which became one of three purchases by Skipton-based Stanforths Butchers.

Another high quality turnout saw ten among the 15-strong entry make 230p/kg or over. Other retail butcher buyers were Ellisons in Cullingworth with a brace and one for Brayton Farm Shop in Selby.

Of the cull cows, a few plain ones among the nine on offer held back the overall selling average at £635.25 per head, or 101.01p/kg, though dairies carrying finish comfortably achieved 110p/kg and over. The same morning’s weekly sale of 30 rearing calves produced joint top prices of £360 for a brace of four-week-old British Blue-cross bulls from Joss Lancaster, of Horton-in-Craven. Continental heifers saw a straight trade, the best being a solid £265 Blue-cross from Paul and Janet Bolland in Airton.

Two Aberdeen-Angus heifers from the Hartley family in Beamsley sold well at £185 and £165, while black and whites peaked at £95 for a bull calf from Town Head Farm Products in Grassington.