Lamb cutlets© Alfred Schauhuber / imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Lamb producers’ share of the retail price has stayed above the five-year average for the past three months and at or above the 50% mark since February.

In July, August and September, producer share of the retail price was 52%, 52% and 50% respectively – way above where it was the year before, when the same three months returned a retail share to producers of between 42% and 44%.

The 2016 figures, collected by AHDB Beef & Lamb, were “somewhat unusual”, said the levy board, as falls in the producer share were normally seen in late summer and early autumn when farmgate lamb prices dropped.

Producers’ retail share in September was particularly stronger than previous years, at six percentage points higher than in 2015 and two percentage points above the five-year average.

“These producer-favourable circumstances have arisen in recent months due to strong farmgate lamb prices, supported by the weak pound following the Brexit vote and tightening supplies,” said Mark Kozlowski, senior analyst at the levy board.

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“Since retail prices have not been increasing to reflect this, a greater proportion of this price is now going to the producer.

“During September, overall retail prices have actually decreased by 1% on the previous month. This change was driven by a 2% decline in the price of fillet-end leg and minced lamb, while cutlet chops also declined in value by 1%.”

Most other cuts remained stable overall, except for the cheaper bone-in shoulder cuts, which showed price appreciation over the month of 2%.

Compared with September 2015, overall retail prices are 1% higher.