Higher prime lamb prices are keeping the cash circulating as the sheep sector moves into its main sale season and there was plenty of confidence around the rings at the NSA’s ram sale at Exeter where 700 head – both rams and females – came under the hammer to reach a top price of £1260 paid for a Texel shearling.

Sale averages were high in all sections but it was the Texel that came out on top leveling its shearling rams at £442. The leading bid came for a shearling from well known Dartmoor-based stockbreeders Robert and Rebecca Jordan. Buyer wars Rottensburg, South Molton, Devon. The Texels enjoyed a 90% clearance rate with aged rams selling to £441 for an entry form Frank Chave and Son, Wellington. Texel shearling ewes met a good trade with Chulmleigh, Devon breeder Mrs C Winkworth achieving the day’s best of £483.

Suffolk breeders cleared 82% of their turnout with a shearling tup from Mrs J Romans, Okehampton finding favour with buyers at the breed’s top of £735. Shearlings averaged £353 while ram lambs levelled at £353 to peak at £399.

Charollais are winning back new supporters this season as the depth of quality within the breed’s ram offerings continues to impress commercial flockmasters. This sale maintained the breed’s upbeat demand with a ram lamb from C Hopper and Son, Tiverton making £630. The ram lambs averaged £257 but the shearlings achieved a better level at £342 helped by a top call in this section of £598 given for a tup from Messrs Norman and Vile, Taunton.

Beltex shearling rams reached £525 for one from long standing supporter Marshall Farms, Watchet, Somerset while ram lambs sold to £315 for one from Mrs L Gregory, Launceston, Cornwall.

David Jane headed the Rouge section selling a shearling at £325 while other breed bests included Berrichon du Cher £535, Border Leicester £378 and Hampshire Down £336.