Demand for rams was patchy at last week’s early National Sheep Association Wales and Border ram sale, with bidding reaching only 900gns.
Buyers were faced with over 1000 rams to choose from – an increase of 20% compared with last year – and the mood at Builth Wells was cautious after weeks of hot, dry weather.
George Hughes, chairman of the NSA’s sale committee acknowledged that average prices had been disappointing.
“Buyers were probably spoilt for choice when faced with 20% more rams to sell,” he said.
Relishing the day’s richest pickings was Somerset Texel breeder David Chave who runs the Peacehay flock.
His shearling tup was by a home-bred sire named Jailhouse Rock and was Grade 2 for scrapie genotype.
The buyer was David Jones of Brecon.
Mr Chave said: “It’s been a good day for us but the overall trade has been disappointing.”
A Group 1 Charollais three-shear tup from television producer Myrfyn Jones and his wife Nia made the second highest price of 820gns.
This tup, from their Pennant flock at Llancarfan near Barry, Glamorgan, was bought as a yearling at the breed society’s main sale at Worcester and has left some excellent progeny.
The buyer was Midlands sheep breeder Percy Tait who runs the Knighton flock.
“It’s a great tup with a back end like a Belgian Blue,” said Mr Tait.
The Texel ring saw another of the day’s highlights when an 800gns call from Geoff Morgan secured a shearling for his Blaencar flock at Sennybridge.
His choice was Tredaeth Liquid Gold, consigned by Hywel and Andrea Thomas who run the Cennen flock at Llandeilo.
Leading the Suffolks at 530gns was a shearling from Roger Weaver’s Perrinpit flock in Gloucestershire.
The buyer was C Clarke, Radford, Worcester.
Other leading prices included 480gns for a Berrichon du Cher tup from M Yeo, Barnstaple, taken by T Brown of Towcester while the event secretary Jane Smith sold one of her Millennium Bleu tups (Beltex x Bleu du Maine) at 300gns.
Leading averages: 194 Texel shearlings £296, 199 Charollais shearlings £377, 114 Suffolk £347, 17 Hampshire Down £212, 14 Berrichon du Cher £231.