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Numbers continue to remain strong every Thursday and as we move further into May we are beginning to see large numbers of New Season Lambs coming forward. The year started steadily with many Old Season Lambs (hoggs) on average £10-£15 per head behind last year’s prices and it has taken until the second half of April for prices to match that of the year before. This disappointing trade at the start of the year was made more worrying by the weak pound. Although this assisted meat exports it also saw a large consignment of New Zealand lamb filling our supermarket shelves.
The hoggs are now all but finished with only small numbers coming forward and the main sale is for the New Season Lambs. Numbers are slightly behind last year as producers report a slow start for the lambs to get up to weight, with many lambing slightly later than in previous years. The liveweight trade remains well above the £2 per kilo mark with many lambs currently in the £92-£96 bracket.
Cull Ewes and Rams are also following the trend of increasing prices as the year goes on, with the good well fleshed Suffolk Ewes now making £95-£110 and similar Mule Ewes making £70-£80 per head. As we move further into the year it will be interesting to see how the Breeding Ewes sell as this is always a good indication of the confidence livestock farmers have in the industry.
Last year we started fortnightly sales of store lambs in the old calves house at South Molton. As these proved to be a success, this spring we have started fortnightly sales of Couples conducted by our young auctioneer Harvey Pile.
For more information about South Molton market please contact our South Molton office on 01769 572042.