Christmas primestock sales injected much needed cheer into livestock farming communities around the country this week producing remarkable headline prices for butchers’ animals.

Live markets are busy selling lambs to a fast trade, with Great British averages at 185-189p/kg for the last three weeks in November.

Throughputs are 10% up on the year at the marts, while deadweight figures show smaller entries on the year.

Liveweight prime cattle prices have seen a strong and desperately needed rise in recent weeks, while deadweight values inch higher.

Heifers averaging more than 210p/kg are commonplace again at the beef marts. Last week’s national live entry averaged 205p/kg, buoyed by phenomenal Christmas offerings.

See also: Prime cattle still £100+ adrift of last year

Skipton

December trading kicked off in style at Skipton last week (1 December), with an entry of 410 show cattle that topped with a 535kg British Blue heifer from John Stephenson, Bordley, North Yorkshire, which made 550p/kg (£2,943).

This championship beast caught the eye of judge Phil Gregory of D Gregory and Sons, Bacup, Lancashire.

Ian, Mary and Richard Lancaster, Cold Coats Farm, Clitheroe, saw three 39kg Beltex-cross lambs make £160 a head when selling to George Cropper junior, Sanderson Butchers, Baxenden, Lancashire.

Elsewhere, Suffolks averaged £91 (197p/kg), Beltex made £144 (335p/kg), Mules averaged £84 (180.5p/kg), Mashams levelled at £81 (181.6p/kg) and Swaledales averaged £75 (176p/kg).

Cheviots averaged £76 (177.5p/kg) and Scottish Blackface averaged £88 (198.2p/kg).

Winslow

The famous Winslow Christmas prime stock show saw prime lambs sell to £260 (605p/kg) last week (25 November).

This was for a pen of 43kg Beltex lambs from MESR, AEJ and FJ Claridge, which was bought by Parrot Brothers, Aylesbury.

In reserve was Claire Morris with a pen of 37.5kg Beltex lambs which made 600p/kg (£225), which caught the eye of judge Mohammed Akram, Pak Mecca Meats. 

The overall cattle champion was a Limousin heifer from AJ Geary, which sold to Chris Bunstance for £4,202 (618p/kg).

Elsewhere, prime Suffolk lambs sold to £94 a head, a Limousin steer made £1,272 (240p/kg) and Limousin heifers sold to £1,395 a head (218p/kg). 

Lancaster

Lancaster’s Christmas prime lamb show was won by a pen of Dutch Texels from GR and A Foy, Conder Green, that went on to sell for £130 a head (317p/kg) to M Alam, Blackburn.

The horned lamb championship was won by WM Pye, Ashton with Stodday, with 45kg Scottish Blackface lambs selling to £90.

The numbers

9.1%
How much higher Great British liveweight lamb throughputs are on the year, at 80,047 head last week (30 November)

188p/kg
Last week’s prime lamb SQQ for Great Britain

+20p/kg
How much prime heifers have lifted in the live ring since mid-October, now averaging 205p/kg