In-calf heifers sold to a peak of £9,000 at a special consignment of suckler replacements from Nelson and James Alexander, Randalstown.

The sale, conducted on farm by auctioneer Richard Beattie, saw 98 heifers sold to new homes, 17 of which headed to the Republic of Ireland, with 24 moving to herds in Britain.

Across 58 catalogued animals, in-calf to easy calving Limousin sires, the average came to £3,094.

A second consignment of heifers made £2,111 per head.

Across all lots presented for sale, the average finished at £2,668.

The top priced animal was a Limousin heifer, bred in Wales and in-calf to Trueman Idol, which was purchased by Robert and Dianne Miller, Moneymore.

The second and third highest priced animals made £5,500 and £5,000 respectively.

In-lamb ewes

Meanwhile, in Ballymena Mart on Monday evening, the annual consignment of in-lamb ewes from Simon Loughery, Drumsurn, saw 250 animals averaging £185/head, up from £155/head last Janaury.

All ewes sold were a mix of two, three and four year old females, scanned in-lamb for March, and vaccinated with Heptavac P.

Prices peaked at £212 for a pen of 10 ewes, surpassing last year’s top priced pen of sheep that made £172/head.

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