Trade was described as 'fantastic' at Skipton Auction Mart's first breeding sheep sale of the season on Monday, where a turnout of 54 outfits with 83 lambs sold to a top of £620.

Talk of the town was a run of pure-bred Charollais ewes with Charollais and Beltex cross lambs from Neville Smith, of Lothersdale. They sold to a lead price per outfit of £620 for a two-shear with single Beltex cross tup lamb, followed at £480 for another two-shear ewe with a single, and £400 for a gimmer with twins. Other outfits from the same home sold at £300 and £240 twice.

Killinghall’s Richard Umpleby, had a good run of Suffolk and Continental ewes, all with twin lambs, which sold to £280 per outfit twice, while Winsbury Farm Partners in Leyburn produced Beltex ewes with twins at £250, and others with singles at £230.

Older continental sheep with singles sold at £140-£160, those with twins at £180-£220, while North of England Mule broken-mouthed ewes sold either side of £200 with twins, and in the £140s to £160s for singles.

Prime sheep met an equally buoyant demand with 2122 prime and lightweight hoggs proving much dearer on the week to average 290.7p per kg with an SQQ of SQQ of 300p/kg. The sale average per head was £125.18.

Best end hoggs made 350p+ per kg-plus, with four pens hitting £4 per kg or more. No fewer than 41 pens made £150-plus.