WITH the direct and indirect impacts of Covid-19 growing daily, The National Sheep Association (NSA) is seriously concerned about the impact seen on the sheep trade.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “The shutdown is having a really damaging impact on the sheep trade now. The trade collapsed at the start of this week with prices down by £1 per kg liveweight – on a 45kg lamb that’s between £40 and £50 a head less, on a value that was maybe just over the £100 mark.

“The main underlying reason is the closure of the restaurant/catering trade, both here and in the EU, and the heavy reliance we have on lamb being a ‘fine dining’ product. We are hearing of export loads now being cancelled – and here at home, the supply chains that serve the catering trade and the domestic supermarket trade are quite different. We made Defra aware of this issue and the reasons behind it last Saturday morning, and now it’s become apparent that it is having the same, if not worse, impact on the sheep dairy trade with many with a perishable product having no market at all.”

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 147 prime and cast cattle at their sale at Ayr on Tuesday.

Thirty prime heifers sold to 244p/kg or £1495 for a Limousin and averaged 230p or £1297, while two bullocks also peaked at 244p or £1,342 for a Limousin to average 231p or £1323.

There were 115 cattle sold in the rough ring where meaty cows would be slightly cheaper on the week with leaner sorts similar to last week. Seventeen cast beef cows sold to £980 for a Simmental and to 141p for a Limousin, while 88 dairy cows sold to £960 and 115p for Friesians to average 94p. Three cast bulls were topped at £1,290 and 174p for an Aberdeen Angus to average 118p.

Seven clean cattle peaked at £1,150 and 168p for a Simmental to average 145p.

There was a small offering of 2 dairy cattle that sold to £1,650 for a freshly calved Holstein Friesian heifer.

C&D Auction Marts had a small show of store hoggets at their weekly sale at Longtown on Tuesday. The sale was topped at £85 for North Country Cheviots with Suffolks and Texels selling to £84.

Breeding sheep peaked at £144 for Mule in-lamb ewes. Ewes with lambs at foot sold to a top of £90 per head for a Texel shearling with a single lamb.

The firm also held their weekly sale of primestock in Dumfries yesterday where prime cattle sold to 232p/kg for a Limousin heifer, while OTM cattle sold to £837 for Simmentals and 110p for Galloways.