The lamb trade, while still dipping from its previous levels is some way ahead of last year, with most centres reporting prices at 4-6p above the same week last year.
At Caledonian Marts, Stirling, on Tuesday 1933 lambs averaged 164.10p/kg, a drop of 4.38p on the week, but still 4p/kg ahead on last year’s prices at this time.
Topping the trade at £93/head were Beltex’s from Andrew Morton, Lochend, with the top price/kg going to Beltex from Morgan Farms at 220p/kg.
Meanwhile, at Ashford on the same day, an entry of 2084 sold on a trade very much in line with the week before and again ahead of last year’s prices.
Auctioneer Elwyn Davies said that despite a relatively big drop in the national averages prices at Ashford held firm to average 166p/kg with 37kg Beltex crosses topping the market at £70.50 (190.54p) from J ohn Cox.
In the medium weights the trade was topped at £76 (180.75p/kg) for 42kg Texel from M J Stears and Sons and 48kg Charollais crosses grossed up to £86.80 (180.83p/kg) from E Chantler and Sons.
The majority of light weights grossed £60 to £65, medium weights £65 to £75 and heavy weights generally made £75 to £80. “At these prices it is advisable to select well finished lambs for the prime market while leaner sorts would be better sold in the store ring.”
And at Lockerbie on Monday trade levelled at 160.4p/kg for the 658 prime lambs, with trade topped by Texels from Druid Hall at £82.50, with Beltex’s from Balgrayhill selling to £82.
The overriding message coming from marts and processors across the country is that while prices may not look as flash as they have been earlier in the season, the usual mid-summer dip has been avoided until now and prices are still very competitive with the same period last year. As a result those lambs which are fit should be traded wherever possible and anyone with lesser quality lambs would likely see a better trade in the store ring.
And now for a quick apology from the Farming Eye team, I’m afraid the site will be a little quieter than usual for today and tomorrow as Chrissie and I are getting married today. We will of course be back in action pretty quickly, so usual service will resume shortly……