Rising sheep prices challenge consumers as Ramadan approaches

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The Nuaimi sheep, a popular choice, has seen a staggering 30 percent increase, reaching 180 dinars compared to prices just two months ago.

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 17: As the annual anticipation of Ramadan unfolds, the elite of sheep find themselves at the center of attention, accompanied by a significant surge in prices. The Nuaimi sheep, a popular choice, has seen a staggering 30 percent increase, reaching 180 dinars compared to prices just two months ago. Expectations loom of further price hikes, potentially exceeding 250 dinars as the blessed month draws near.

Buyers, however, are hesitating to make purchases, citing the considerable inflation in the market and the scarcity of imported goods alongside weak local production. Despite the availability of various types of feed this year, there is a prevailing call for support towards local production and the encouragement of direct imports from Iran, Syria, and Jordan to alleviate costs and reduce prices.

During a tour of one of the local markets, Al-Rai observed the sales movement and engaged with sheep merchant Abu Dawood Al-Musafer. Al-Musafer expressed concern over the exorbitant prices, emphasizing the need for increased and diversified imports to ensure an ample supply and stabilize market prices. He also highlighted the negligence of authorities in monitoring food security farms and livestock farms, critical for supporting the livestock industry.

Fahd Al-Shammari, involved in sheep slaughtering and processing, echoed the sentiment of high prices and consumer reluctance. He urged the state to facilitate direct imports as a swift solution to reduce prices before Ramadan, warning of a potential crisis if the current trend continues.

As buyers shy away from the live meat market due to soaring prices, the refrigerated and frozen meat sectors experience a surge in demand. Despite the apparent shift in consumer preferences, traders express surprise at the government’s decision to halt live meat exports amid the local market’s significant deficit, questioning the feasibility of such exports when the local supply is already strained.

This news has been read 1174 times!

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