THE pleasing trade for prime hoggs, during the festive period, is holding up well now that trading in 2020 has settled back into a normal routine. Values of cast sheep continue to climb to rates which are exceeding expectations and will undoubtedly boost the morale of many sheep farmers.

However, the trade for prime cattle continues to be less than impressive at markets everywhere.

Harrison & Hetherington Ltd sold 48 clean cattle, 30 cast cows, 1,207 prime hoggs and 479 cast sheep at St Boswells yesterday.

Thirty-eight prime heifers sold to a top of 248p/kg to average 217p (+1p), while nine prime bullocks peaked at 237p and averaged 209p (-2p). One young bull sold to 165p.

In the rough ring 30 cast cows sold to £1446 and 169p to average 125p (-8p).

Prime hoggs sold to £116 and 268p for Beltex to average £93 and 207p (n/c).

In the cast ring the overall average was £82.50 for all sheep. Heavy ewes sold to £131 for Texels and averaged £100, while light ewes peaked at £107 for Cheviots and averaged £70.

The firm also sold 52 prime heifers in Carlisle yesterday to a top of 228p/kg and an average of 206p (+46p), while 16 prime, beef-bred bullocks peaked at 219p and levelled at 190p (+7p).

Three prime, dairy-bred bullocks sold to 173p to average 167p. Fifty-four prime, beef-bred bulls sold to 236p and averaged 199p (+3p), while 46 prime, dairy-bred bulls peaked at 182p and levelled at 153p (+1p).

In the rough ring 201 cast dairy cows sold to 154p and averaged 99p (+1p), while 98 cast beef cows peaked at 181p and averaged 133p (+26p). Eleven cast bulls made up to 149p and averaged 118p (-21p).

There were also 2,162 prime hoggs that sold to £139.50 and 304p/kg to average 210p (+1p).

In the cast sheep ring 130 heavy ewes sold to £139.50 for Texels and averaged £102.92 (+£16.61), while 42 light ewes peaked at £70 for Swaledales and levelled at £64.64 (+£9.54).

Messrs Craig Wilson sold 1977 sheep comprising 1469 prime hoggs and 508 cast sheep at Ayr yesterday.

A plainer show of prime hoggs this week still averaged 207.4p which was no change on last week. The top price per head was £113 on two occasions for pens of strong Texels. Top price per kilo was 240.5p for a Beltex. Blackfaces sold to £96 for a strong pair of hoggs and 208.3p for another pen.

There were also 508 cast sheep forward which sold at higher rates for all classes this week. The ewes peaked at £184 for Texels, while Texel cross ewes sold to £140. Mule ewes sold to £99 and Blackfaces peaked at £73.50.