Lambs at market© Tim Scrivener

Higher prices brought fresh cheer to fat lamb finishing specialists this week as tight supplies gripped the global market.

With the standard quality quotation (SQQ) average for Great Britain standing at £2.10/kg (22 February), a 40kg lamb is now worth £10 more than one month ago and £16 more than one year ago.

AHDB analyst Rebecca Oborne said that UK lamb throughput was up 5% on the year but falling imports were supporting the market, with Asia taking an increased amount of a smaller New Zealand lamb crop.

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She noted that this was despite the recent price rises pushing the cost of British lamb 80p higher than the farmgate price of New Zealand lamb, currently standing at £3.80/kg deadweight.  

Fewer imports have bolstered the proportion of British lamb on sale in supermarkets, with retail facings climbing from 73% of the total on display on shelves in January 2017 to 81% last month, according to the most recent AHDB survey.

Waitrose was the worst offender, with British lamb making up just 44% of the total lamb on display in January, and Asda the second poorest supporter of domestic product, at 58%.