Cracking cattle trade at CCM Skipton New Year midweek opener A bumper bovine turnout of 859 head, bolstered by firm trade throughout, signalled a solid start to 2020 at Skipton Auction Mart’s opening fortnightly Wednesday cattle sale, which again saw a ringside packed to the rafters with enthusiastic bidders. (Jan 8)

The vast majority of the entry comprised feeding cattle, 840 in total, among them 247 young bulls, which defied all the odds when recording a £12 increase for Continentals on the year with an overall selling average of £977, compared to 2019’s £965. Native entries were a heady £126 up on the year, clearly reflecting emerging demand for Angus bull beef.
In fact, the quality of bulls was exceptional, producing pen after pen of U grade cattle and better, this being the real first draw of 2019 Spring-born calves. Bulls under ten months were the pick of the trade, selling to a top of £1,180 for a March-born Limousin-x, bred from a Continental cow, consigned by Mark Nelson, of Bull and Cave, Clapham.
A strapping consignment of March-born Charolais bulls from David Barker, of Leathley, Otley, were of such a quality that lent to them being sold in groups, with one quartet becoming the top price pen at £1,145 each.
A good run of mainly January and February-born bulls from James and Deborah Ogden, of Austwick, peaked at a section-topping £1,260 for a Limousin-x, with plenty of bidders for cattle from a high health herd. A standalone pen of four Limousin-x from the same home each made £1,135.
Very few bulls in forward condition failed to make £900, most getting away at £1,050-plus. At the lesser end, bulls still managed a comfortable £750-£900.
Store cattle, comprising 525 bullocks and heifers, made a nice start to the New Year, the smart end in high demand from feeders keen to re-stock sheds and take advantage of the quality available, among them new customers making successful purchases.
Angus bullocks were especially good to sell, averaging £995, while Friesian bullocks were also readily sought after, averaging £805 and selling to a high of £930 for a brace from the aptly-named AP Bullock, of Chaigley, Clitheroe.
The section produced joint highs of £1,220 for a Limousin-x from Bingley father and son, Keith and David Downs, and a British Blue-x from the Fox family in Withgill, Clitheroe, while the top price pen of three Charolais-x bullocks from Andrew Fawcett, of Bishop Thornton, made £1,160 each. Yearling and younger bullocks also found favour, with several annual consignments having a good following. There were averages of £974 for Continental-x and £863 for natives.
Corresponding averages for store heifers were £937 and £741, with a section top of £1,290 for a Limousin-x from the Stockdale family in Burnsall. The top price pen, a trio of Limousin-x from David and Catherine Towler, of Grindleton, each made £1,170.
The sale also saw exceptional trade for the 68 beef feeding cows on offer, heavy Continental entries all selling from £1,150 to £1,240, this for a pure-bred South Devon from S Richardson, of Queensbury, closely followed at £1,230 by a Limousin from Pateley Bridge’s Joe and Trevor Stoney. Non-breeding beef heifers aged 30 months-plus were up to £1,200, while commercial first cross beef feeding cows took a lift, most making £750-£850. The overall selling average was £875.
The 19 breeding cattle on parade also sold away strongly to a top of £1,800 for a Limousin bull from Stainforth’s Richard Caton, with a British Blue cow and her Blue bull calf from Peter Fawcett in Long Preston also doing well at £1,550. An entry of 875 head is anticipated for the next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, January 22.