Selective bidding at Kelso ram sales last week (11 September) saw averages fall by £73 a head on the year with bidding failing to reach the dizzy heights of the 2014 fixture.
Overall 4,313 rams averaged £610.68 and sold to a clearance rate of 76% (2014: 4271, £684.17 86% clearance).
Auctioneer Tom Struthers from Lawrie and Symington said trade was selective.
“Good sheep were well bid for but people were selective. There was a decent crowd but I don’t think it was as busy as I have seen it.
“The weather had been good and people wanted to get on with combining because they knew it was going to break.”
But Mr Struthers said the old adage that commercial shearlings are worth ten times the price of fat lambs held true, with people bidding to a budget as a result of poorer prime lambs prices.
Leading the day’s prices at £14,000 was a Texel Shearling from Mrs L Gray Scrogtonhead, Ayrshire. He was the pick of Jonathan Watson, Bowden Moor.
Just shy of this at £13,500 and setting a new Bluefaced Leicester record for a shearling at the centre was Messrs J Wright and Sons, Midlock, Biggar, with a 1538F27 Midlock Mustang son. Buyer was Crow Hall Farms, Hexham.
Michelle Wright, of the Mullaghwee flock, Ballymena, Northern Ireland, paid £9,000 for the breed champion BFL, a 1386/F1 Parkgatestone sired Bluefaced Leicester from Messrs J and J Cunningham, Parkgatestone.
Next came a bid of £7,500 for a Texel shearling consigned by Messrs A Gray and Sons, Langside. This one was purchased by Mellin, Hillhouse.
Beltex also saw a centre breed record when Neale and Janet McQuiston, Airyolland, Newton Stewart, sold their shearling for £4,000 to Stuart Wood and Rory Gregor.
Ram lambs peaked at £7,500 for a Suffolk from Kimmy Douglas’ Cairness flock, Aberdeen. This one was bought in a three-way split by Irish breeders David Duncan, Robinson and Gault.
Second best came a £5,600 call from Michael Cowbourey, Hartside, for a Texel from Mr A Campbell Strawfrank.