Buyers and breeders are entering sheep sales with trepidation this year but a degree of confidence is being seen in some places.
Reports of ewe lambs being smaller are widespread, while fears of a no-deal Brexit are also putting pressure on averages.
An entry of 3,066 Scotch Mule gimmers, 609 Texel gimmers and 1,088 Scotch Mule ewe lambs saw averages back across all mule classes on 29 August.
Scotch Mule ewe lambs were back £6.30 on the year to average £91.71, which was described as a satisfactory trade given the size of the lambs, which were smaller on the year after a terrible spring and difficult summer.
Dry gimmers were back £6.83 to average £129.81, while suckled gimmers were back £12.30 to level at £114.
A good crowd of buyers were in attendance from Northamptonshire to Wales. Brisk bidding was seen for strong types, while little demand was seen for smaller gimmers.
Shearling ewes were £1 dearer on the year at £145 at Ruthin’s Lleyn Sheep Society sale on 3 September, with many pens selling around £135-£150.
Rams topped at 8,400gns and averaged £697 – £11 dearer on the year. Topping the trade was a Lluest ram by Wraycastle Emanual from E7D Jones, Machynlleth, which was knocked down to D&C Steen, Dumfries.
Ewe lamb trade was described as “more relaxed”, with cautious buyers thinking about current prime and store lamb trades. This dropped averages £11 on the year to £81, with a great selection of running lambs on offer.
Many pens were around the £70-£95-mark, topping at £125 a head, with a pen of five from AW Davies, Pwllheli, selling to HE Sevenoaks, Abergavenny, followed by another Davies pen for £108.