The first United Auction’s sale at Lairg met a strong trade this week for the predominantly north country Cheviot lambs.

The 10,500 wedder store lambs sold for an average of £69/head, which is up £9 on the year. The 3,310 ewe lambs averaged £90/head, up £9. The top-priced ewe lambs made £220 each for black Cheviots.

Aberdeen Northern Marts sold 5,800 store lambs at Quoybrae in Caithness. The overall sale average was £68/head, up £6 on the year. The Cheviot ewe lambs and wedders were both up £5/head on the year to £68 and £64 respectively. The crossbred lambs were up £7/head to average £74.

The prime market looks to have steadied in the last week after prices dipped to £2.10-£2.20/kg. In Monday and Tuesday’s sales, the average price for medium-weight lambs was £2.20-£2.50/kg. This may be due to the recent rainfall helping grass growth and allowing farmers to keep their lambs longer in fields.

Scottish abattoirs on the other hand have cut their prices, with some at £4.80/kg and others at £5/kg.

The official Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) price for across GB for the week ending 7 August was £5.27/kg for an R3L carcase, down 37p. The ewe price in Scotland has weakened, with a national average of £84/head.

Beef price

The beef price offered to farmers for an R grading steer without any breed premiums is between £4.10 and £4.20/kg. However, COVID outbreaks in a number of plants has caused a backlog of cattle to be killed.

The AHDB beef price for an R4L steer is £4.24/kg, which is up 3p. Same-grade heifers were £4.24/kg, which is up 2p on the week. The young bull price is £4.09/kg deadweight, which is up 2p/kg.

The AHDB official price for cows in Scotland is up 2p/kg to £3.20/kg for an 0-4L.

Compared with last year, a 380kg steer carcase is worth around £140 more. The cow price is over 30p/kg more than summer 2020.

C & D Auction Marts at Dumfries held its fortnightly sale of store cattle with 180 cattle. Steers averaged £2.26/kg, with a top price of £2.66/kg and £1,330/head.

Heifers averaged £2.31/kg, with a top price of £2.54/kg and £1,470/head.

Lanark Mart sold 357 store cattle, with steers averaging £2.29/kg and heifers £2.21/kg. Dairy steers averaged £2.01/kg.

The top-priced steer was £1,530 for a 666kg Limousin from Midlock. Heifers peaked at £1,480 for a 572kg Limousin from Haspielaw.

Thainstone sold over 1,100 store cattle last Friday to an average of £2.43/kg for the steers and £2.39/kg for the heifers.

United Auctions sold 574 store cattle, with prices a little down on the week as steers averaged £2.37/kg and heifers averaged £2.27/kg. They also sold 63 dairy steers for an average of £1.89/kg.