There’s no great surprise that averages were back at Friday’s Thame with Bicester Sheep Fair, with more sheep forward and the lamb trade having been somewhat unpredictable for the large part of this year.
Auctioneer Simon Draper of Thame Farmers Mart said he’d expected prices to come back after the highs of last year, but the Mule trade had held up well, with the overall average dropping by just £5/head to level at £140 and prices peaking at £200 for shearlings which had lambed from Henry Tustian. “The same vendor also sold pens at £190 and £180, proving that the quality lots were still at good money.”
In the Suffolk x Mule shearlings trade was more selective with plenty of second quality sheep forward. Top among these was regular vendor Eddie Bulman’s consignment which peaked at £205 and while the overall average for the Suffolk x Mules was back by some £17 to level at £128, Mr Bulman’s run of more than 700 only fell back by £5/head on last year. “We had several runs of sheep which probably would have been sold as hoggets if the price hadn’t dropped earlier in the year. These weren’t the quality people were looking for and it showed in the prices.”
The same was true of the Continental cross shearlings too, with these levelling at £123/head. Leading the prices in these were Beltex crosses fromD W Gurney and Son at £175, with Texel crosses at £172/head from Rosemary Kimber.
One lamb ewes averaged £141, while older ewes averaged £107.50. In the store lambs the entry levelled at £64/head, up by £1 on last year’s sale, with good lambs well sought after.
Ewe lamb trade was good too, with Texel cross ewe lambs selling to £80.50, Beltex cross ewe lambs making £99.60, Lleyn ewe lambs at £75.80 and Suffolk x Mule ewe lambs at £82. “These look well sold considering the shearling trade and the hard summer many of these lambs have had in terms of weather.”
(Thame Farmers Mart).