Finished hoggets - 3,885 sold
The hogget trade has moved up rapidly during the last three or four days and following Monday’s SQQ of 117p per kg, vendors had high hopes of Ashford repeating the trick. Hobs Parker did not let anybody down! The entry of just under 4,000 sheep found all buyers keen to get a share and returns showed a 3-4p per kg premium on national averages. Best fleshed standard and medium weights were 120-125p per kg with quality runs from D. and P. Rooke (Buckinghamshire) to 125.5p per kg; 750 sheep from Tim Crick (Norfolk) with standard weights to 129p per kg and medium weights 128p per kg. Heavies also a sharp trade from 100p per kg upwards and topping at £61.20 for a pen of superbly shown Texels from J. Prior and son (109p per kg.)
Store hoggets and breeding sheep - 412 sold
Not quite the fire in the trade despite values for the finished article improving - no doubt this market will now rely on the professional finishers while regular sheep farmers busy themselves with lambing in very wet conditions. Small healthy lambs £28-£38, stronger sorts £40 to a top of £44.80 for Suffolk Cross Romney. Several pens of breeding sheep offered. Strong continentals due in two weeks to £49.50 from M. Worsam and Suffolk’s £51 from the same vendor.
Cull ewes and rams - 377 sold
Numbers dropping but the meat men no keener than in recent weeks and grazers unable to find any grass. Best meated sheep to £46,80 for a pen of 24 strong Suffolk’s from Aa Trevor and son. The pick of the mules to £33.80 for strong sheep from P. and S. Goodsworth while Romney’s topped at £31.20, lean sheep £10-£25. Cull ewe averages: first quality 78 46.80 to 32.10 (36.40); second quality 247 35.40 to 24.10 (28.20); third quality 59 22.10 to 10.50 (16.10). Rams: 13 40.50 to 5.00 (33.20).
Finished cattle - 105 steers/heifers and seven young bulls sold
Less cattle penned - less money generally at base camp for the wholesaling cattle but retailers in full flow for quality under 24month-old cattle. Decent young steers were in very short supply, hence only two above 120p. But smart under two-year-old heifers were plentiful and well supported with 12 making from 122.5p-136.5p. Gerry Smith topped with 20-month homebred Belgian Blue heifer fetching 136.5p and grossing £812. Also offered was another run of six superbly matched homebred Belgian Blues and Limousins from M.B. Farms, just under two years selling to 134.5p (£812) and averaging 127p. In the older cattle lines Paul Burdens homebred Charolais steers with weight grossed to £833; J. Castle (Stoke) ltd Limousin 745kgs at 111.5p (£830); dairy bred cattle topped at 110.5p for a very decent Simmental Cross Friesian steer from Dan Mackelden ltd (£756). A short entry of bulls with useful Angus from P. and A. Love 106.5p (£612 at 13-months); and ad-lib fed British Friesian bulls from T. Castle (Petham) to 99.5p grossing £606 at 18-months. Averages steers: premium 21 123.50 to 109.50 (113.00); average 24 108.50 to 98.50 (104.00); others 9 95.50 to 81.50 (89.00).
23 136.50 to 108.50 (120.00); average 25 108.50 to 96.50 (103.00); others 3 89.50 to 67.50 (80.00). Young bulls: first quality 2 106.50 to 105.50 (106.00); second quality 5 99.50 to 91.50 (95.50). Over-30-month cattle for the food chain - 45 sold Numbers holding up well despite reports that the overall supply is short. Cows were a similar trade to recent weeks while mature bulls definitely jumped in value. A 1998 Simmental from DW. Ferguson 710kgs at 78.5p, and a 2001 cow 83.5p. John Berryman’s calved Simmental 83.5p and cows 77.5p, while in the dairy lines 2001 Holstein/Friesians from Force Green Farms 77.5p and grossing to £670 and a 2000 Holstein from W.S. Furnival (Honeychild) ltd at 73.5p (£576). Leaned meated Black and Whites ranged from 50-65p and very plain 35-45p. Hereford steers in good nick sold to 79.5p; Limousin heifers 83.5p and Sussex steers to graze 73.5p. Two mature bulls sold, a 1997 Simmental in working clothes 58.5p (£623) and a 2002 Hereford in best bib and gaiters 69.5p (£674).