THERE was a bigger entry at the latest South Molton livestock market, which was held on Thursday, November 23 2023. There were 1935 sheep sold during the market. 

1344 prime lambs 

Overall a decent quality entry with more handy weight lambs on offer but not so many real heavy lambs (over 54kgs). Trade back again on last week with most lambs back around £2.00 per head. Still a lot of lambs showing the weather and being presented plenty lean enough. Best trade for the heavy well fleshed lambs as well as all well finished lambs whatever the weight. It is noticeable that some buyers are offering more for FABBL lambs and there was a slight difference this week for non FABBL lambs.

Top price lambs this week to £154.80 for Messrs IP & L Stagg of Newton Tracey for their 59.5kg Charolais x lambs. The same vendor also had a pen of 56.6kg Suffolk lambs to £148.20. Mr KA Hill of Bideford met £147.00 for his 56kg Texel x lamb. £142.00 was reached for a pen of 56kg Suffolk lambs for Messrs Parsonage Farms of Chulmleigh. Messrs AD & SM Bray in the money, firstly with a 58kg Texel x lamb to £141.00 and secondly with a 56kg Texel x to  £140.00. Messrs J & J Watts & sons of Goodleigh with a pen of 55.6kg Suffolk lambs reached £140.50. £137.80 to 55kg Suffolk lambs for Messrs G & P Kivell of Ashreigney and £136.00 to a 61kg Closewool lamb for Mr MJ Kingdon of Challacombe.

Top ppk to 267ppk for Messrs TH & PM Bolt of Huntsham for their pen of Texel lambs. 262ppk was also met by the same vendor for a pen of 45.1kg Texel x lambs. 263ppk was reached twice, firstly by Mr KA Kill of Bideford for his 56kg Texel x lamb and secondly by Messrs GF & PJ Warne of Umberleigh for their pen of 47.5kg Charollais x lambs. Messrs IP & L Stagg of Newton Tracey met 262ppk for their pen of 56.6kg Charollais x lambs. 261ppk was reached three times, firstly by Mr NT Gear of Newton Tracey for their pen of 49kg Texel lambs, secondly by Messrs DL & JM Bray & Son of Newton Tracey for their pen of 44.1kg Texel x lambs and thirdly for Messrs WH & JC Hayes of Twitchen for their 42.2kg Suffolk lambs.

289 store lambs 

A pleasing entry of 298 store lambs, saw every pen full in the calf shed. A lesser crowd of suitors saw trade a shade easier, in particular for the longer to medium term lambs. This said, all lambs looked well sold with an overall average matching most centres of £84.81. More store lambs continuing to be   wanted at the coming sales, please pre-book these where possible.

Best pens of store lambs to Mr CJ Campbell of  Woollacombe for his pen of Suffolk store lambs. The same vendor seeing other Suffolk lambs to £117.00 and pens of Texel x lambs to £126.00 and £108.50. Messrs AW & SA Meikle of Meshaw saw his pen of shorn Charollais x lambs to £96.00. £93.00 to Messrs A & C Curtis of Templeton for their pen of Texel lambs. Messrs RH & MS Radford of Mariansleigh saw a pen of their Texel x lambs to £90.50.

293 ewes and rams 

A smaller entry than last week but overall a better quality entry forward. Some bigger ewes forward this week and less poorer leaner ewes on offer. Trade dearer for the bigger well fleshed ewes and noticeable that buyers are keener for the ‘meat’ ewes but no dearer for the grazing of smaller ewes. Again not many grazing ewe buyers around the ring but those buyers that were there were still keener to source ewes. Best Suffolk Mules to £110.00 plus and best Mules £90.00 plus. 

Topping the ewe sales this week was Mr NA Cooke of Torrington with his Texel ewe to £135.00. Other notable pens to the same vendor included a pen of Texel ewes to £128.00. Messrs MJ & AL Elston of Romansleigh met £132.50 for their White face ewe with Messrs MC & KD Yeo of Yarnscombe closely behind with a pen of Texel ewes to £131.50. Mr JK May of Eastleigh met £126.00 for his pen of Suffolk ewes.

Top ram sales to £106.50 for Messrs RL Down & Son of Brayford for their Suffolk ram. Other rams to £94.00 for Mrs J Sturla of Crediton for her Texel ram and £80.00 for Mr SJ Bale of Challacombe for his Blue Faced Leicester ram.