Base quotes for fat lambs have surged to 555p/kg, up 40p to 45p/kg on the starting prices available at the end of last week.
However, these initial quotes are running well below the price deals on offer, as processing demand for sheepmeat increases on both sides of the Irish border.
Deals of 565p to 570p/kg are on offer with isolated reports of 580p/kg being paid to specialist finishers handling large numbers to ward off competition from southern processors, or deter them from selling live.
Agents working for Republic of Ireland factories are extremely competitive in the live ring. At sales held earlier this week, prices of £130 to £135 were regularly paid by agents shipping lambs south for slaughter.
Irish plants are paying €7/kg (565p/kg) as a base. Deals of €7.20/kg to €7.30p/kg (580p to 588p/kg) are available to a 22.5kg carcase weight, although there have been some reports of lambs being paid to 23kg deadweight.
Fat lambs prices are currently £1/kg above their corresponding value last year and at record levels for late autumn. Prior to last year, factory prices had never exceeded 400p/kg during November.