Processors are intent on tightening their grip on the local sheep trade following further cuts to lamb prices.
Factory quotes have slipped to 500p/kg, down 30p/kg on last week. Farmers state that negotiating above this price is extremely difficult.
Some factories tried to buy lambs from a base of 495p/kg, but had to offer the higher price after encountering resistance from farmers.
Prices in the Republic of Ireland have also seen cuts of 20c to 30c/kg, with €6.30 and €6.50/kg buying most lambs. This converts to a sterling equivalent of 504p to 518p/kg.
Lamb prices are also in retreat in Britain, with the standard quality quotient (SQQ) down 8p/kg to 240p/kg and factory prices in the region of 510p to 530p/kg.
Meanwhile, the first sale of breeding hoggets at Aghanloo near Limavady saw a solid trade. Prices topped £175 for Suffolk crosses. All pens sold above £150, with the main run of hoggets making £160 to £170.
While factory prices have come under further pressure, it has yet to affect the store lamb trade.
Prices are generally in the region of £86 to £92 for medium to short-keep animals with Texel or Suffolk breeding. Lambs with a greater hill breeding influence, are making £10 less.