Lamb sales are booming this year on the back of rising domestic demand and lucrative exports.

The Grocer forecast rising prices earlier this year and export values have risen 10% to some e4 per kilo. The average retail price of lamb in the UK was £5.97 a kilo, according to TNS data for the week ending 10 September.

Lamb slaughter figures for the year to August were also up 2% and consumption has risen 3%.

EBLEX chief executive Richard Ali said: "These figures paint a positive picture for the UK lamb industry,

"Cuts that have really taken off are leg roasts, sales of which are up 7.6%, and shoulder roasts - up 3.8%."

Sales of lamb mince sales, he added, have risen by 2%. Ali put the growth down to in-store promotion and a spurt of new life for EBLEX's Beefy and Lamby campaign.

Its last airing in August and early September coincided with a retail sales rise in England of 7%, year-on-year, to a four-week total of 6,315 tonnes.

"There has been a move back to home cooking - people are rediscovering how to roast meat. And the consumer demographic is changing too, with more young people buying lamb. It is appearing on more restaurant menus, they're trying it and liking it and then going out to buy it themselves," added Ali.

UK mutton and lamb exports are also buoyant, with shipments to the EU increasing from almost 39,000 tonnes between January and July last year, to 43,936 tonnes for the same period this year.

A shortage of lamb in Europe has seen more of the meat go to Spain and Italy at the same time as a 4% increase in consumption.

"This is serving to fuel the demand for British lamb exports," said MLC export manager JP Garnier. "Exports to central Europe have also grown to fill a hole left by falling supplies from Romania and Bulgaria."