Despite the ongoing drought conditions throughout much of the Midlands, eastern and southern areas of the UK, and the fall in prime values, store lamb prices held up well at Skipton Auction Mart's second seasonal sale where 2671 head averaged £83.13 – the same as the opening sale two weeks previous.

This compares to the same sale in 2021 when store lambs averaged £84.64 per head.

With some northern areas having had towards a week’s worth of rain and several northern feeders keen to secure stock, trade was ahead of many vendors expectations, especially for medium keep lambs.

The annual show for pens of 50 or more Down-cross lambs – judged by mart regular Steven Dorey, North Lincolnshire – was won by entries from Robert Metcalfe, Grange Farm, Brearton. His pen of 50 strong Suffolk cross lambs, all by Northumberland-bred tups acquired from both Lilburn Estate in Wooler and the Alnwick-based Watson family, out of North of England Mule ewes, sold for £98 per head.

Top price in the section however, was £106.50 paid for the second prize pen from James Foster, The Riddings, Bolton Abbey. The third prize pen from the Lund family in Litton made £84.50.

Leading the trade overall, at £114 per head was a pen of Beltex crosses from Nicola Robson, of Guiseley, who also sold at £106.

Ian Brown, of Marske, Richmond, sold lambs at £112, £111 twice and £110.

Other decent framed lambs for medium to short-keep sold in the £90s, with the next grade mid-£80s to £90, and more of the medium to long-keep types making either side of £80 being around £2 dearer on the fortnight, as were long keep sorts.

North of England Mule wedders were in ready demand, with the Newbould family from Dallowgill in Upper Nidderdale selling a pen of 50 head at £84 each.

Mules averaged £76.71 with Beltex crosses at £107.31.