A strong start to the store sheep trade across the country and continued decent prime sheep returns look to bode well for the forthcoming breeding sheep sales and with one of the largest sales in the country, the Bicester with Thame Sheep Fair taking place tomorrow the outlook for the season will soon be set.
Tuesday’s opening sale at Longtown saw an increased entry of store lambs, with the top call of £71.50 for Suffolk crosses, with others of the same breed making £70.50 and Texel crosses making up to £70. Overall the sale levelled some £4.02 back on last year’s trade.
Meanwhile, at Lazonby on Wednesday trade peaked at similar levels, with the 820 lambs on offer selling to a top of £70 for a pen of Texel x lambs consigned by Messrs Lee, Lintley.
Mules topped at £56 for a pen from Messrs Athey, High Lovelady Shield. The auctioneers report the trade for all types was dearer than many other local sales with demand for many more lambs than were present.
And at Ashford last Friday the season’s first store sale saw an entry of 4000 store lambs meet a fierce trade. Fleshed Charollais lambs sold to £88.80 with plenty making £75-£85 and the general run of stores £60- £70. Overall the store lambs averaged a highly respectable £64.87.
A small entry of breeding sheep sold on the same day saw North Country Mule ewe tegs sell to £145 and Suffolk x Mules make up to £140.
And while prime prices have slipped a little in the early part of this week they are still at or above levels which would normally be expected for the time of year.
While no one expects to see the breeding sheep trade make the massive leaps it did in the early part of last year’s sales season, it would be surprising if it took any significant steps backward either. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s trade leaves both vendors and buyers in a good mood and allows those heading back to the Mule ewe lambs sales in the coming months to do so with confidence.