Finished hoggets - 3,833 sold An increased entry of new season lambs with majority in the 38kg to 42kg bracket as producers hold back for better returns. The low prices and availability of quality hoggets for the time of year is delaying the switch from hoggets to lambs with quite disastrous consequences for producers of early lamb. The majority of lambs grossed in the £46 to £52 bracket and up to £57 and £56 for heavyweights from J.W. Drew and C. Moss respectively. With one major retailer switching to new season lamb next week there will be more interest and maybe better prices. However numbers of lambs coming forward are likely to increase quickly during the coming weeks and unless hoggets dry up a substantial improvement in new season lamb prices is unlikely. Hoggets keep coming forward in large numbers with 3,500 selling at prices very similar to last week with the majority in the £40 to £46 bracket and up to £50 for smart purebred Texels from P. Ashlee. Best handyweight hoggets attracted prices in the 100p to 110p per kg and majority of heavyweights 85p to 90p per kg. Hogget averages: standard 348 128.21 to 65.15 (103.26, nat ave 97.55); medium 1,464 110.89 to 58.75 (101.31, nat ave 97.71); heavy 1,321 100.43 to 57.69 (87.56, nat ave 85.15); overweights 354 84.53 to 48.61 (79.54). New season lamb averages: standard 165 132.94 to118.42 (125.03, nat ave 130.78); medium 181 138.77 to 113.92 (124.05, nat ave 125.00). Store hoggets and breeding sheep - 150 sold Good ewes and lambs wanted and a good trade to £31 per life for Romneys with single Charollais Cross lambs. Second quality units £18 per life. Inlamb tegs made to £39 and feeders £29 to £29.20. Cull ewes and rams - 665 sold Reduced entry of ewes met an improved trade on the week with overall averages up by some £3 per head. Best Crossbred ewes up to £49 for Suffolk Crosses from D. and P. Rooke and Texel Crosses to £48.80 from Collick and sons; £47.50 from J. and C. Kellett and £47 from R.P. Mair and son; Romney’s £38.20 from J. Smith and mules £32.50 from Collick and sons. Only very plain ewes below £30. Cull ewes: first quality 182 49.00 to 40.00 (44.20); second quality 370 39.00 to 30.00 (35.00); third quality 73 29.80 to 10.00 (24.50). Rams: 40 55.50 to 10.00 (35.20). Finished cattle - 79 steers/heifers and 12 young bulls sold Demand is getting a little slack at the moment with the trade finding it difficult to shift meat in quantity. Also many large abattoirs are increasing their kill of OTM meat at the expense of the younger cattle. One of our more accessible outfits are now killing four times as many cows as clean cattle - none of this helps. Nevertheless, handyweight smart cattle for the retail trade continues to be a competitive trade with the handful of these on offer at 120-136p per kg, while wholesalers cattle were again back a copper or two. This is all pretty dire news at a time when expecting values to creep up each week. Bulls met a fair demand but with no fireworks. A run of Charolais Crosses from M.J. Booth to 103.5p per kg and grossing to £604 at 13-months. Purebred Sussex bulls to 94.5p per kg from JR. and L. Stevens and heavy weight 17-month Holsteins from BG. and GR. Tomsett and son, a fair shot to 90.5p (£624). Finished cattle steers: premium 6 131.50 to 109.50 (118.50); average 26 106.50 to 93.50 (100.50); others 7 93.50 to 69.50 (80.50). Heifers: premium 8 136.50 to 109.50 (116.50); average 27 108.50 to 94.50 (100.50); others 5 94.50 to 91.50 (93.50). Young bulls: first quality 4 103.50 to 98.50 (101.00); second quality 7 95.50 to 90.50 (93.50); third quality 1 to 87.50. Over-30-month cattle for the food chain - 30 sold Less cattle in this department and demands as competitive as ever, with eight individual buyers on hand. Meated Holstein/Friesian cows not out of the top draw to 67.5p per kgl; young Black and Whites bought for a gamble to 64.5p per kg and lean killing cows to 51.5p per kg. Again some decent beef cows offered - an unbred Sussex heifer from Chris Bishop 78.5p per kg; a similar Aberdeen Angus from John Seath 78.5p per kg; A.J. Thompson’s unbred Simmental Cross Friesian 82.5p per kg; Paul Burdens South Devon cows 77.5p per kg; and very thick Sussex 59.5p per kg. The best sold on the day however must have been a pen of Dexter’s absolutely wallowing in fat and selling to 43.5p per kg. Fed steers sold to 85.5p per kg for a Simmental from J.Castle (Stoke); 78.5p per kg for a thick Montbeliarde from RF. and EA. Simmons; Roger Martins well-fleshed Friesian 80.5p per kg; and a decent Ayrshire from David Blowey 75.5p per kg. Store cattle - 293 sold Ross Douglas set the ball rolling with decent 9/10-month suckled Limousin steers £505 (122p per kg) and heifers £415 (116p per kg). Farrant Bros shapey 7/9-month suckled Blonde steers £458 (135p per kg). A further run from John Windibank with 12-month suckled Limousin steers to £512 (127p per kg) and heifers £450. PT. and SJA. Beale had an annual run of suckled cattle with 12/14-month Blondes to £515 and Limousins £485 and a pen of 14-month heifers £480. Several purebred Herefords were offered: 13-month steers from M.J. Burton £442 (107p per kg) and bulls to feed £350. The annual consignments from J.C. Plommer again showed well and sold accordingly: 13/14-month Blonde Cross Sussex steers £500 and heifers £458. Probably the best sold cattle of the day: 11-month Aberdeen Angus Cross Limousin/Friesian steers to £450 (160p per kg).