The 3,000-plus prime sheep successfully sold at Skipton Auction Mart on Monday again comprised mainly Spring lambs and while trade for the 2,788 head didn’t, as anticipated, live up to the previous week’s exceptional prices, an overall selling average of 215.1p/kg, or £89.70 per head, was recorded and proved a very good average on the day.

Some strong prices were again recorded for butchers’ type lambs, with Ellis Bros, from Addingham Moorside, heading the per kilo prices at 315p, or £126, with a pen of four 40kg Beltex-cross claimed by regular wholesale buyer Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, who also purchased South Yorkshire-bred lambs at 293p/kg from Messrs Hill & Wright, of Doncaster, plus two further pens at 285p/kg, another from Ellis Bros, the other from the Beckwith family in Gargrave.

Per head prices peaked at £127.50 twice, one for yet another quality Ellis Bros pen claimed by regular Felliscliffe buyer Andrew Atkinson, the second for Texel lambs from WH Marsden in Crossgates, Leeds, sold to Kendalls Farm Butchers for its retail shops in Harrogate and Pateley Bridge. The same vendor/buyer combination accounted for lambs at £123 each.

Mr Atkinson also bought lambs at £127 from JA Gibson & Son in Church Fenton, Messrs Hill & Wright had another pen at £126 each, while E&KM Marshall, of Summerbridge in Nidderdale, made £122 with lambs sold locally to Swaledale Foods in Skipton.

While commercial medium and heavy lambs were cheaper on the week, generally making 205-210p/kg, handy weight lambs, especially those weighing 37-39kg, found a good following and sold well, nice types making 215-230p/kg and commercial sorts 210-215p. Mule and hill lambs were also cheaper on the week.

Of the 224 cast ewes, rams and hoggs, heavy ewes were in high demand, white faced entries with meat proving just as dear as in recent weeks with an overall breed average of £85 per head.

Big North of England Mules were dearer on the week, the heaviest making £80-plus up to £84.50. Grazing Mules sold in the £60s, with some plainer ewes in the mid-£40s to mid-£50s.

While Swaledale ewes appeared less money on paper, there were no big heavies in this week’s entry, meated mediums making £40 and lighter, leaner ewes selling on the £30s. Masham ewes from the Wilson family in Blubberhouses topped the section at £86.50 per head, with a breed average of £78.

Cull ewes sold to an overall average of £66.88 per head and the mart says more are required to fulfil buyer demand. Cast rams averaged £84.94, with a top call of £147.50 for a Texel from Nick Speake, of Oakworth.

The weekly sale of 52 rearing calves saw trade for both continental and native entries on a par with previous weeks, prices peaking at £470 for a Limousin-cross suckler heifer from David Breaks, of Slaidburn, another Limousin, this time a bull calf from Wood Bros in Middleton, claiming second top of £395. Limousin bulls averaged £327 and heifers £321.

British Blue-cross bulls averaged £347, Winterburn’s Mark Smith topping at £445, followed closely at £440 for a calf under four-weeks-old from the Hartley family in Beamsley. Blue heifer calves, generally smaller than past weeks, topped at £360 from Paul and Janet Bolland in Airton, with a section average of £360.

Native entries peaked at £345 for an Aberdeen-Angus bull calf from Andrew Smith, of Carleton, Angus bulls averaging £298. Sutton-in-Craven’s Richard Spence again consigned the top price black and white calf, a bull at £175, with the section averaging £79.

A report on this week’s second online timed two-day auction of machinery, implements, vehicles and many other associated items will appear in next week’s Herald. Today (Thursday) is day two of the sale, which interested readers can follow at where bidding also takes place.