Despite the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, United Auctions' Stirling Bull Sales enjoyed a bumper two weeks of trading with averages significantly up on the year in virtually all breeds and with improved clearance rates.

Add in the increased value of store, breeding and finished cattle as a result of reduced supplies following the national decline in both pedigree and commercial beef cow numbers, and it was a marriage made in heaven for bull breeders.

Those selling through the live ring were well rewarded with averages in the main, rising in excess of £1000 per head on last year's trade, with the Charolais breed again taking the lead with 66 bulls cashing in at £7121 with a 71% clearance, followed by the Aberdeen-Angus at £6499 for the same number sold and an 86% clearance.

Just behind, in the averages league, the Simmental breed sold 64 bulls at £6482 with an 82% clearance.

It was nevertheless the Beef Shorthorns that enjoyed the best of the two week sales, securing a new breed high of 27,000gns for David and Tom Bradley Farmer's Meonside Nidavellir and a record average of £6127 for 54. The Beef Shorthorn was also the only breed to record an increase in the number of bulls sold, with one more cashed compared to the 2020 event.

Adding to the celebrations, the Beef Shorthorns also produced a new February female high of 7500gns and the highest price of all breed females sold throughout the two weeks, when a Millerston heifer from the late Jack Ramsay and his wife Grace, sold for 7500gns.

John Roberts, United Auctions director and auctioneer, was delighted at the way the sales had worked out and pointed out the new online bidding facility had proved a huge success.

He is also hugely hopeful the October Bull sales will return to much more normal way of trading.

Breed (No sold) Top price (gns) Average (£) Clearance (%)

Aberdeen-Angus (66) 15,000 6499.00 (+679.00) 86

Beef Shorthorn (54) 27,000 6127.00 (+1347.00) 79

Charolais (66) 16,000 7121.00 (+347.00) 71

Limousin (34) 11,000 5911.00 (+1049.00) 79

Simmental (64) 26,000 6482.00 (+1443.00) 82

Salers (12) 9500 4856.00 (+25.00) 86