Row of lamb carcasses© FLPA / John Eveson/REX/Shutterstock

The share of the lamb retail price going to producers fell to three percentage points below the five-year average in December, according to AHDB Beef and Lamb.

This was despite the producer’s retail share of lamb increasing 1% on November 2016 to 48%.

The rise was attributed to a seasonal increase in demand over Christmas, as the retail price of lamb dropped by 1% to attract higher sales over the festive period.

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The figures for December put the producer’s share of the lamb retail price 2 percentage points higher than for the same month in 2015.

However, overall lamb volumes purchased in the three months ending 4 December fell 13% on the previous year, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel retail data.

Significant falls in purchases were seen across all categories apart from mini roasts, as the percentage of households buying lamb was down 6% year on the year and the total spend on lamb across the period was 10% down on the year before.

AHDB Beef and Lamb said the decline was likely down to the higher retail price of lamb over the 12-week period, up 3% to average £8.73/kg.