There was a buoyant trade at most of the 19 rings operating at the NSA’s annual Builth Wells sale.
This produced a 92% clearance of the 5115 rams and ewes entered at the event, which included 23 society sales, and a gross income fractionally under £2million.
Peter Morris, NSA chief executive, said there were very welcome clear signs of growing confidence among sheep producers.
“The sale is one of many that have benefited from the way improved prime lamb prices are encouraging people to invest in breeding stock,” Mr Morris claimed.
Year on year average prices improved across all breeds, though direct comparisons cannot be made with 2008 when the sale was spilt in two.
Trading was topped by a shearling Texel from builder Cefin Pryce’s 40 ewe Caereinion flock, based at Llanfair Caereinion in north Powys.
The February born home bred tup, out of Caereinion Main Man and a home bred ewe, was sold EL Evans, Green Farm, Pant y Dwr for 3500gns.
Just over 800 Texel shearling ram lambs were sold for an average of £334.96/head compared with £210 last year. The total of 1085 registered Texels sold this time averaged £508.35.
There was a particularly large crowed around the Lleyn ring and it turned out to be a good day for North Yorkshire breeder Charles Sackville Hamilton. All seven rams entered by the former DEFRA consultant from his Thrussendale flock at Malton sold well, but there was particularly keen bidding on one outstanding 2008 born tup, which was eventually knocked down for 2900gns.
He took the breed championship and was bought jointly by Simon Kavanagh from Bingley in West Yorkshire and John Geldard and Sons, Gilpin Bridge, Levens.
As usual there was strong demand for Charollais sires with a top price of 2600gns paid for one from the Probert family’s flock based at Leominster. This one sold in a two way split to Neil Oughton and Robert Hopper. A total of 505 changed hands for an average of £494.
Welsh Mule breeders were keen to bid on the 555 Bluefaced Leicester tups forward. Entries averaged almost £500/head, with the breed champion entered by Myrfyn and Jane Roberts from Gaerwen on Anglesey selling for 1500gns.
Robert Graham made the long trip from Stirling with seven Berrichon du Cher ram lambs and picked up the breed championship and the section’s top price when one changed hands for 1250gns. Overall the breed averaged £419 compared with £246 in 2008.
A total entry of 237 MV accredited Suffolk sires produced a top price of 1020gns and averaged £432/head.
A strong entry of 97 Border Leicester tups peaked at 650gns and averaged £310/head compared with £211/ head in 2008.
The Dorper breed appeared for the first time at the event and the 5 head forward produced a top price of 470gn and averaged £373.
Sale secretary Jane Smith said vendors and buyers seemed to approve of the decision to revert to a single large sale and to use a congestion easing “tup taxi” system to move sheep from pens to purchasers’ vehicles.