The livestock sale season ended last week (Thursday October 17th) with the final sale of all classes of sheep in Stornoway.

Lewis and Harris Auction Marts have limited the sales to five this year, in a bid to avoid any market turmoil following an October date for Brexit. On Thursday auctioneers Dingwall and Highland Marts Ltd sold 1,362 sheep of all classes at the Steinish mart.

A total of 591 lambs sold to £60 gross for Texel crosses from 100 Cross Skigersta Road, Port of Ness while 560 ewes sold to £60 gross for Suffolk crosses from 10 Tong. Gimmers sold to £130 gross for Texel crosses from 22 Laxay and 93 feeding sheep sold to £150 gross (twice) for Cheviot rams from 8 Sand Street, Stornoway.

Mart director Kenny Macleod said prices were slightly down on earlier sales in the season, as is always the case. He told “October sale prices are usually back compared with other sales, but the numbers are comparable with previous years and compare well to mainland prices.

“The season overall was very good. In the first two sales, prices were extremely good and the cattle sale earlier this month also saw good prices. There was a lot of uncertainty in June and July because of Brexit, but that didn’t translate into any drop in prices.”

There are also signs of crofter confidence in the future, with local buyers still buying sheep and breeding activity continuing as usual. Kenny said: “There is a lot of good stock about, so we’ll see what next year brings.”