Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

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).

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