SKIPTON prime sheep trade was again solid across the board as another good entry of over 3,500 prime sheep went through the sales ring at Skipton Auction Mart.

The weekly Monday turnout saw the 3,012 prime and lightweight hoggs among them again subject to solid all-round trade, which was similar on the week at 287p/kg (SQQ 293p/kg), or £122.91 per head. (Feb 22)

Of the lowland lambs, the best end made 350p-420p/kg, or £140-£170, with commercial lowland lambs selling at 280p-320p/kg and heavy lambs regularly away at £135-£155.

Both retail and wholesale buyers were again out in force.

Joint top per head price of £170 fell to a 46kg Beltex-x pen from Tony and Kay Kiernan of St Michaels, Preston.

They became one of several top end purchases by Knavesmire Butchers in York, matched by a 42kg Beltex-x pen from Walter and Rob Parkinson, of Garstang.

He also sold further 42kg Beltex at £169 per head, their respective pens making 404p/kg and 402p/kg when both among multiple acquisitions by regular wholesale customer Vivers Scotlamb.

The top price per kilo pens all came from the 36-45kg weight range, plenty exceeding £4 per kilo and peaking at 420p/kg, again to Vivers, for one from a run of top-notch Beltex-x from Henry Atkinson, of Fellliscliffe, Harrogate who sold 15 head weighing 38kg at £160.

Of the heavier weights, lowland lambs over 52kg saw Texels average £144.33, topping at £158 and a good number of pens making £150 and above.

While in the 46-52kg range S Forshaw & Son, of Alston, Longridge, sold 46kg Continentals at £168.

Four pens of lightweight 35kg and less lambs made over £100.

Turning to hill-bred lambs, North of England Mule wethers were up to £3 per head dearer, with both Mule and Masham wether lambs selling into the £130s again.

A&B Simpson, from Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, did well with two Mule pens at £133 and £132.50.

Mashams peaked at £132 for a pen from the Hutchinson family in Faceby, these claimed by Skipton-based Swaledale Foods.

Of the other hill breeds, Cheviot lambs led the way, the Keirnans once again bang there with two pens making £156 and £140.

Nice horned wethers were very good to sell at around 240p/265p, with 33-36kg lambs again finding a good following.

Just short of 500 cast sheep were also penned for sale, cull ewes in particular seeing a tremendous trade.

While most goods were similar on price, Swaledales and Mules traded at much higher prices than seen for some considerable time.

Big, heavy ewes were regularly away at £130-£142.50 for Continentals.

Bluefaced Leicesters from the Newboulds, of Dallowgill, topping at £161.50.

Mules sold to £113.50 from Sam Coy, of Rotherham, while the best Swaledales were £85-£91.50, with Cheviots from Fleets Farm in Rylstone selling to £125.50.

The overall cull ewe selling average was £87.28, cast rams averaging £95.03.

The second weekly breeding sheep sale attracted 154 head, ewes with lambs at foot again selling well to a regular audience, with a few extra faces seen ringside pushing trade on.

A Texel-x ewe with an early born single lamb from John Barnes, of Sawley, sold at £225 for the outfit. Blubberhouses husband and wife team, Chris and Christine Ryder, also sold a Texel-x ewe with a single lamb at £210.

Broken mouth, correct below Mule ewes with two-to-three-week-old Suffolk lambs at foot from W&M Bland, of Malham, sold to £140 per outfit.

Texel-x ewes with twins again from John Barnes sold to a day’s high of £315 for a broken mouthed ewe with two early born lambs at foot.

The Ryders and Killinghall’s Richard Umpleby both sold Texel-x ewes with twins in the £270-£285 price range, while some older goods with younger lambs traded around £205-£215.

An online produce sale is currently in progress at the mart, with bidding ending at 7pm this evening (Thursday).

An online two-day machinery sale is also scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 9 & 10.

All current rules regarding social distancing and buyer-only presence at the mart’s sales rings still apply.

For full details of upcoming auction for buyers and sellers go to the auction mart website: