Trade Talk with Ted Ogden, Auctioneer at Skipton Mart, North Yorkshire

6th January 2021

It’s always traditional to look back, review and analyse the year gone. Within the auction industry we have a lot to be thankful for, mainly the work of our Executive Secretary Chris Dodds, whose dedication to our cause successfully kept the livestock markets open as key workers in the food supply chain.

The work in the market, without vendors present, has been hard and labour intensive to sort stock on their behalf. However, revised entry forms, increased communication channels, and live streaming of sales has made this possible and kept the vendor in touch and in control of the sale of their animals.

Trade over the autumn ran at higher levels across all sectors. Additional numbers of sheep available for sale after the good lambing time were easily absorbed here at Skipton, with both sales of Prime and Store lambs seeing rises in throughput on the year, and prices generally £12 to £15 per head up.

Demand for British lamb has certainly helped the former, whilst this fed through to demand for store sheep, with feeders finding root crops more plentiful this winter too.

Our sales of prime sheep have seen high demand for handyweight lambs this last quarter, 38kg to 42kg 225p to 240p for commercial lowland types, whilst the demand for high quality Beltex types at Skipton continues as normal with 270p to 330p commonplace for the smart end. A shortage of sheep this Monday resulted in a sale average of 255p.

Store lambs continue to sell to customers from a wide area, with virtually every corner of England and Wales looking for store lambs from this venue. Stronger sorts have been £85 to £100, mediums £75 to £85 and long keep lambs late 60’s to mid-70’s. Some Hill bred sorts at lower levels.

All the best for 2021 and hopefully a return to the old normal!