By Neale McQuistin

The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland moved quickly yesterday to comment following the sudden EU border restrictions.

Executive director Neil Wilson said: “Auction marts and auctioneers across Scotland are continuing to liaise closely with the key industry representatives and the Scottish Government to ensure they remain fully briefed about the supply and demand in the red meat chain during these uncertain times. The impact of the EU border restrictions over the last 24 hours, as well as what might follow with Brexit, will no doubt drive some volatility within the industry, particularly around demand for produce and market prices.

“As we enter the Christmas and New Year period, there is a reduced sales calendar, as is the case in any year, and will resume from early in the New Year; this reduced number of sales could help limit any drop in price and steady up volume.

“However, we must note that, despite the pandemic and uncertainties around Brexit, prime and store lamb prices have remained buoyant this year, so there remains an element of confidence in the sector.

Market round-up

Harrison & Hetherington sold 22 clean cattle, 91 cast cows, 998 prime lambs and 505 cast sheep at St Boswells yesterday.

Seven prime bullocks sold to 239p/kg and averaged 224 (+10p), while 15 prime heifers peaked at 245p to average 217p (-10p).

Cast cows sold to £1455 and 179p to average 126p (-5p).

Prime lambs sold to £121 and 250p/kg for Beltex lambs to average 195p (-12p) overall. Heavy cast ewes sold to a top of £145 for a Texel ewe and averaged £99 (+£1), while light ewes peaked at £97 for Cheviots and averaged £64 (-£2). The firm also sold five prime heifers at Carlisle yesterday which peaked at 208p/kg and levelled at 194p (-26p), while seven beef-bred bullocks sold to 212p and levelled at 191p (-29p). In the rough ring 133 cast dairy cows sold to 165p to average 99p (+1p), while 30 cast beef cows peaked at 185p to average 134p (+4p).

The 1,740 prime lambs sold to £132 and 300p/kg to average 205/kg (-12p). In the cast sheep section 47 heavy ewes peaked at £148 for a Suffolk and averaged £107 (+£27), while 103 hill ewes were topped at £98 for a Hill Cheviot and averaged £79 (+£28).

Messrs Craig Wilson sold 1,303 prime lambs and 318 cast sheep at Ayr yesterday. Prime lambs sold to £116 for a single and 243p for a pen of Texels to average 210p overall.

A much-reduced offering of cast sheep sold toa top of £145 for a Texel ewe, while Mules peaked at £94 and Blackface ewes sold to £73 for a pen of 16.