Sheep processors have increased the carcase weight limit on fat lambs from 21kg to 22kg this week, adding just over £5 to the value of a lamb carcase.

Local plants have come under intense pressure to move to the 22kg earlier this month, as factory prices were running £5 to £10 below those on offer in the live ring.

Abattoirs in Ireland and Scotland have been paying to 22kg since late summer, giving buying agents a competitive edge over local factories.

Base quotes of 505p/kg are available at the 22kg limit although some plants are offering 510p/kg at the 21kg limit.

At the outlined base prices, there is a £4/head differential in favour of lambs paid to 22kg. Irish factories are paying up to 520p/kg in the marts for NI lambs.