2021-01-05 facebooktwitterrss

New Year Prime Sheep Trade at CCM Skipton off to a Flyer

New Year sheep trade at Skipton Auction Mart got off to a flyer when the 1,545 prime hoggs on parade at the 2021 opener produced an overall selling average of 255p/kg (SQQ 264p), equating to a whopping £111.39 per head. (Mon, Jan 4)

With numbers tight countrywide and some finishers in no rush to sell lambs with Brexit put to bed, coupled with the snowfall and icy conditions, this had an effect by holding some sheep off the market. The result was a full ringside of keen purchasers.

Francis and Andrew Smith with their Skipton New Year prime cattle champion

Francis and Andrew Smith with their Skipton New Year prime cattle champion

The first prime shows of the year saw Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside, consign the champion pen of five 41kg Beltex-x lambs, first picked out by the judge, retail butcher Will Rathmell, of Brayton Farm Shop, Selby, then claimed by him at £160 per head, or 390p/kg.

However, it was the reserve champion 39kg Beltex-x pen from the Towler family in Grindleton that just pipped the victors on price to claim top call of £161 per head, or 412p/kg, when falling to regular buyer Anthony Swales for his Knavesmire Butchers in the York.

The third prize 48kg Continental lambs from Felliscliffe’s Henry Atkinson made £140 each when claimed by regular wholesale buyer Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, with the same vendor stepping forward with plenty of other high priced pens. Lowland lambs in the 36-45kg weight range saw Beltex average a solid 299p/kg. All three of the above mentioned buyers made multiple purchases on the day.

The top price 32-35kg lowland lambs from the Capstick family in Bolton-by-Bowland made £100, or 294p/kg, while 46-52kg lambs achieved some outstanding prices and a range average of £119.88 for Continentals. The Towlers again caught the eye when selling 50kg Beltex to Knavesmire Butchers at £160.

Lowland lambs over 52kg took a good lift in price, many achieving £10 to £15 per head more on the week to average £122.05, Henry Atkinson topping the section with £138 Beltex selling to Brayton Farm Shop. Other buyers of leading lowland pens included Kendalls Farm Butchers in Pateley Bridge and Harrogate, and Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, Bradford.

The Hutchinson family, from Faceby, were prominent. In the show classes they presented the first and second prize 50kg and 55kg Suffolk-x pens sold at £118 and £124 to, respectively, Scotbeef Ltd and Halifax wholesalers JE Medcalf. They also had the red rosette-winning 58kg North of England Mules, a pen of ten which agin fell to Scotbeef at £116.

Overall, Mules averaged a very solid £103.53 per head, while other hill-bred lambs also met a sharp trade, with Ellis Bros first into the ring selling 52kg and 48kg Swaledales at £105 and £104. Cheviots sold to £124 from Rossendale’s Joe Bosworth.

Trade for 212 cast sheep was also strong, with medium ewes really setting the pace and a full ringside of buyers present to take large quantities, all actively bidding for all classes of goods, more of which could have been readily sold. White-faced Texel ewes from JA Gibson & Sons, of Church Fenton, topped at £143.50, followed at £137.50 from the same vendor. Cull ewes sold to an overall average of £81.62 and cast rams £78.88.

The honour of consigning the first prime cattle champion of 2021, courtesy of show judge Mick Etherington, of Eldwick, fell to multiple past prize winners, North Craven father and son hill farmers, Francis and Andrew Smith, of Lodge Farm, Masongill, above Ingleton – they farm close to the Yorkshire-Lancashire border.

They clinched the New Year title with their first prize 545kg Limousin-x heifer acquired from fellow North Craven farmers, mother and son, Janet and James Huck, of Austwick, who are also familiar faces at Skipton. The victor fell to Robert Pearson, of Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers in Bradford, for 269.5p/kg top price by weight, or £1,469

The reserve championship and all but one of the other remaining rosettes fell to brothers and Skipton regulars, Charles and Richard Kitching , of Grisedale Farm, Threshfield, who arrived with another quality consignment of eight cattle, all bought out of Skipton store sales last August.

The overall runner-up, the first prize 590kg British Blue-x bullock became another Ralph Pearson buy – they claimed ten in total - at 261.5p/kg or £1,543, while weekly buyer James Robertshaw accounted for the second prize winners in both sections – a 565kg Limousin-x heifer from the Kitchings at 262.5p/kg, or £1,483, and a 565kg Limousin-x steer again from the Smiths at 260.5p/kg or £1,472, both for sale at Robertshaw’s Farm Shop, Thornton. He purchased eight cattle in total – five for Robertshaw’s, the other three for Kelham Farm Shop in Skipton.

Top gross price per head at £1.,572 fell to a 630kg British Blue-x steer from Ben Townsend, of Laneshawbridge, bought by Halifax wholesalers JE Medcalf. The mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers also bought a brace of cattle.

The New Year opened with a large turnout of 47 prime cattle, the 32 under 30-month clean cattle among them meeting a solid trade, if slightly less than closing 2020 values. While the feeling among retailers with High Street shops was to hold off, use up and monitor any further restrictions in the immediate short term trade proved resilient, with volume users looking to fill fridges after a fortnight of interrupted supply.

Also penned for sale were 15 cull cows and opening New Year trade was strong as predicted, though finish was in short supply, with heavy dairies nudging 120p/kg and steaking cows 110p/kg, producing an overall selling average of 105.34p/kg, or £693.52 per head.

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Related Links
link Hartleys Champion and Reserve at Skipton Rearing Calf Opener
link British Blue Calf Retains Championship at Skipton Christmas Showcase
link Skipton Swaledale Females Up Almost £30 per Head on Year
link Strong Sup port for Skipton’s Native & Rare Breeds Sale