PRIME Hoggs - 1159: SQQ 175.2p, Euro at 86p and an extra buyer made the trade feel significantly better with the heavies to £86, £85, £84, £83, £80 etc. Best export 221.3p, 209.5p, 207.5p, 204.8p etc. with all good export sheep 180p+.

Every sheep sold averaged £74.62. The hogg trade should now rise as some abattoirs are now increasing their throughput of British sheep and processing less New Zealand lamb. Don't get these hoggs too big as £86 is good but we wouldn't need a yard full of 50kg+! There is only a certain requirement from the catering trade.

Farm assurance is very important on hoggs 42-48kg as supermarket buyers cannot buy non-farm assured.

More quality sheep needed.

Ewes with lambs - 30/40: More interest in the couples, quality was generally disappointing. Best singles sold to £150 for 5 Suffolk cross ewes with Suffolk cross lambs. Other better singles at £141. Dorset ewes with singles from £88 to £101. Double couples to £160 with other better sorts from £140 to £157. Others from £120 to £131. More could have been sold. Average throughout £127.03/unit, £54.48/life.

This week we had two enquiries from people wishing to buy ewes with lambs

We need numbers to enable them to travel

In-lamb ewes - 396 Auctioneer - Michael Evans/Rob Meadmore

The smaller entry of generally poorer quality ewes sold to a little more interest. Crossbred ewes sold to £135 for a 2 year old Texel cross being part of a dispersal. Yearlings from the same sold to £133. Other young ewes catching the eye from £110 to £125. Plainer sorts from £80 to £104. Stronger ewes in lamb to Texel rams topped at £120, others from £100 to £110. Plainer sorts always most difficult to place from £65 to £95. A few pens of ewes carrying triplets ranged from £90 to £104.

Top price on the day was £235 for 3 pure Texel yearlings being a further consignment from Mr E G Stephens, Tuthill Farm who sold other yearlings from £200 to £230. 4 year olds from £170 to £230 and 3 year olds at £165. A larger entry expected next week to include a flock dispersal of 180 North Country Mules, Suffolk and Texel crosses.

Store hoggs - 3021: An excellent entry for the first week of February, however slightly concerning the numbers of stores to come back into the system later in the spring. A smaller crowd of purchasers than of late, however still distant men travelling, with the large entry attracting them to Hereford.

Strength thin on the ground, however a good bunch of Suffolk cross hoggs to £76.50. Other stronger sorts £67 to £72.50. Texel cross hoggs with shape easy to place and £68 to £72. Farming hoggs would be slightly dearer on the week providing the sheep had condition or on hard food - these trading from £62.50 to £66.80 throughout. Continental hoggs very much sought after and hoggs with shape very easily sold. Medium keeping hoggs from £57 to £62, level bunches with condition all £60+. Mule wethers to £63. Other farming sorts £55 to £59, smaller sorts £47 to £53.

Well bred longer term sorts from £50 to £55, however smaller harder bred sorts slightly harder to place with the weather making ground conditions poor, these smaller hoggs being affected which is generally the case. Smaller hoggs trading £40 to £48, some of these looked a good bet for May trading. Hill bred sorts from £35 to £50, depending on frame and condition. Some very poor clear-up and odds and sods trading from £12 to £25. Ram hoggs to £67, all strength £60 to £64, farming sorts £52 to £59.50. Hill bred sorts were mainly small sorts - these from £44 to £52. Overall average £55.25.

Cull ewes - 1584: Another strong entry of ewes topping at £132.50/head for a pen from M/s J R Lloyd and Son, Cefnyblaen. The quality and strength of ewes forward were not as good as last week, however the average is the same at £60/head which clearly suggests the ewe trade was dearer. There was certainly more demand for the meat and frame and those £60 to £80 ewes could be £7-£10 dearer. Rams also a better trade topping at £125.50/head. Lets hope this trade continues to lift.

Average £/head - £60.31.

Continental £132.50.

Suffolks £99.50.

North Country Mules £89.

Welsh Mules £79.

Speckles £64.50.

Welsh £61.50.

Cull Rams £125.50.

Rearing/weaned calves - 20: Decent show of both rearing and weaned calves and a packed ringside to appreciate them. Best baby calves over £200 to top at £270 for a Limousin heifer calf with a run of black and white Herefords to £205 for bulls and £150 for heifers. Plenty of spirited bidding for the weaned calves, generally 6 months old topping at £480 for a pair of Charolais heifers, then £440 for a Blonde heifer with a respectable average of over £400.