Charolais cattle breeders enjoyed a flying trade at a breed sale at Welshpool, where prices peaked at 7200gns and a further 12 lots sold at 5000gns or more to boost the overall average by £588 on the year.

Clearance rates also improved by a massive 31% on the year to 84%, which according to society chief executive, Peter Phythian is as a result of improved prices for Charolais cross calves.

"Numbers sold and average prices are improving at every society sale this year," he said. "Commercial producers were out in force looking to secure a bull so they can capitalise on the trend at store sales where Charolais-sired suckled calves are topping the markets on weight for age.”

Sale leader at 7200gns was the reserve champion Cliftonpark Madoc, from Mrs JM Robinson, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. This March-2016-born bull by the French-bred Rosanna Fameux, is bred from Cliftonpark Irish, which goes back to the 10,000gns Thrunton Bravado. He sold to P and M Davies, Sennybridge, Powys.

Close behind at 7000gns was the first of three to sell from Kevin Thomas, Capel Iwan, Dyfed, whose trio levelled at £6300. His dearest was the 18-month-old Moelfre Maestro, purchased by E Jones, Caernarfon, Gwynedd. One of the first to sell by the 12,500gns Balmyle Impression, Maestro is out of the Gretnahouse Vigorous-sired Moelfre Dollar.

Mr Thomas' yellow-ticket winner, Moelfre Major, a 19-month-old son of Impression, this time out of Moelfre Ianna, by Anside Foreman, then made 6400gns to B Bayliss and Co, Whitney-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

Selling for 6800gns was the April-2016-born Esgob Magnumgold, which was one of three to top his class in the pre-sale show, for Gareth Jones, Bala, Gwynedd, who sold all three to average £6055. Staying local when snapped up by J Roberts, Bala, Gwynedd, Magnumgold is by Alwent Goldbar and out of Esgob Gold – a former Royal Welsh Show junior female champion by Anside Excalibur.

Four bulls were knocked down at 6000gns each to include JAW Rees' Hendy Majestic, from Llanidloes, Powys. This March 2016-born bull was purchased by TJ and DA Stephens, Neath, West Glamorgan.

Cornwall producer, TN Lightfoot, Callington, went to the same money for Peter and Sheelagh Donger’s supreme champion Seawell Merlo, from Seawell, Towcester. This 19-month is a son of the French-bred Maerdy Flambeau.

Also making 6000gns was the April-2016-born Maerdy Myfanwy from Flintshire vet, Esmor Evans, Monfa. He is also by a French-bred sire in Maerdy Gouverneur and sold to DT Edwards and Co, Trecastle, Powys.

Mr Evans took the same money for the 17-month-old, yellow ticket winner, Maerdy Morlo, from Simon and Suzanne Frost, Bakewell, Derbyshire. He is by Vexour Freddy, which is already owned by the Frosts.

Females met a ready trade, peaking at 4000gns was the champion from Gerwyn Jones, Nebo, Conwy. This was the March-2015-born Graiggoch Lucy, a daughter of the 16,000gns Stirling junior champion Clyth Diplomat bred from Thrunton Starband, a Mowbraypark Orlando daughter. She was purchased by Kevin Thomas.

The 18-month-old reserve female champion, from EH Pennie and Son, Montgomery, Powys, sold next at 3100gns. Sarkley Marianna, purchased by T Rich, Mold, Flintshire, is sired by Lisnagre Hansome and out of Sarkley Brianna.

Averages: 43 bulls: £4444.19; six heifers: £2826.25

Auctioneers: Welshpool Livestock Sales