TRADE remains buoyant for both prime cattle at sheep at Skipton Auction Mart, the latest weekly Monday sale producing solid results across both sections.

A very good pre-Easter prime cattle trade saw both catering and retail demand building up. Top price of £1,946, 316.5p/kg, was paid by Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers in Bradford for a 615kg Limousin-x heifer from Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching

Top steer at £1,912, 321.5p/kg, also the leading price by weight, fell to a 595kg Limousin-x from Francis and Andrew Smith, of Masongill, going to Robertshaws Farm Shop in Thornton.

Five black and whites were included in the AHDB heifer average of 242p/kg, the Continental-x heifer average levelling at 300.25p/kg, against a steer average of 307.92p/kg.

Another strong trade for over 30-month cattle, mainly black and white heifers with the odd dairy-bred Limousin steer at 219.5p/kg, or £1,504, produced a section average of 185.54p/kg, or £1129.91

Cull cow trade has no limits at the moment, some lean dairies up at 150p/kg and meated entries making 170p/kg-plus, with a non-farm assured Blonde cow at 195.5p/kg and non-UK dairies at 178.5p/kg. The overall average was 169.3p/kg, or £1,124.66.

A larger entry of 4,284 prime sheep comprised almost 100 Spring lambs and 3,500 old season hoggs, the former meeting another very sharp trade, selling to an overall selling average of 343p/kg or £142.23 per head. Top call at 400p/kg, or £160, went to Texels from Harry Walters, of Penistone.

Hoggs averaged £122.44, 255.9p/kg (SQQ 275p), Beltex pens as usual doing best on price, with a section average of £129.43, 308.4p/kg, and day’s top calls of £170 and 415p/kg from Malhamdale’s Jeff Burrows.

Almost 700 cast sheep saw no let up in prices for cull ewes, which peaked at £329.50 for a pen of four Texels from Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson, best Texel ewes selling over £200 for size, weight and frame, with a section average of £123.42. Cast rams averaged £154.31.

The 354 breeding sheep saw a nice lift in trade, a solid run of first-cross Texel shearlings, all with twins, from P&AM Simpson, of Dacre, selling from £302-£322 per outfit. This coming Monday is the Easter Bank Holiday show and sale of ewes and shearlings with lambs at foot.