The number of cattle and sheep going through Scotland’s auction marts has fallen nearly 10% in the past two years.
Figures released from the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) show an 8% decline in throughput since 2012.
According to the institute, numbers were down 3.25% in 2013 to just over 2.715million head of stock, with 92,000 less sheep and 2,900 less cattle going under the hammer that year.
Despite this, the value of livestock sold increased by 2.7% to £534.4million.
IAAS said this was due to increased prices in the store and cattle breeding sectors.
Its members reported a 5.6% increase in the value of store cattle going through their rings, however the value of prime stock dropped 1.8%.
“The core of our livestock businesses very much depends on livestock production and in particular the marketing of numbers sold,” said outgoing IAAS president David Pritchard, of Harrison and Hetherington, Carlisle.
“There is clear evidence that there continues to be a downward trend in livestock production and this is having a massive effect upon our industry.”
He said prime stock prices reached a new high last year as a result of tight supplies, however the sheep sector struggled due to currency rates reducing export opportunities.
Willie McCulloch, of Lawrie and Symington at Lanark, has been appointed to replace Mr Pritchard as president. John Kyle, of Caledonian Mart, Stirling, takes on the role of vice-president and Steven Wilson, of John Swan, St Boswells, has been appointed junior vice-president.