Sheep prices surge in Ramadan



Jeddah: Irfan Mohammed

Published — Friday 12 July 2013

Last update 12 July 2013 3:03 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The advent of Ramadan, the wedding season and summer vacation all at one time has sent both beef and sheep prices skyrocketing in the Kingdom.
In addition, hundreds of Kuwaitis have been buying sheep in bulk at Saudi markets, have them slaughtered due to regulations on livestock transport and take them across the border because meat is cheaper in the Kingdom than in the neighboring country.
Another factor being cited for the alarming rise in prices is the shortage of expatriate workers, particularly Sudanese, in cattle and sheep farms, since many of them are busy arranging for repatriation or legalization of their employment status following the amnesty announcement for illegal expats.
The considerable price increase of fresh meat during Ramadan this year is indeed worrisome because it had reached levels that only normally occur on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, when the demand for sheep goes up on account of the animal sacrifice ritual. All these factors have had a ripple effect, with the general price of food shooting up in the Kingdom.
In an attempt to rein in rising prices, authorities are making efforts to increase import of livestock from at least four countries including Pakistan. Besides, they are also considering lifting the ban on the import of meat from certain countries. The general belief is that these measures may bring about some semblance of price stability by the time the Haj season starts.
Demand shoots up during Ramadan because many Saudis like to offer Ramadan meals to the poor, mainly expatriate laborers, through mosques. Some provide meals with beef, while others offer meals containing fresh lamb.
When it comes to choice of meat, Saudis prefer locally bred sheep, while expatriates prefer imported African sheep in general and the Sawakani breed in particular. Sawakin is a port city in Sudan from where these sheep are imported.
Prices of local breeds of sheep have shot up by as much as 40 percent since Ramadan began and demand is expected to further rise in the coming days.
The brown-skinned Naimi breed of sheep is the most popular among Saudis in the Central and Eastern Provinces. The price of this breed has jumped manyfold across the Kingdom in general and in the Eastern and Central Provinces in particular.
The price of a 10-kg Naimi sheep was pegged at SR 1,200 before Ramadan, but is now being quoted at SR 1,600 and expected to rise further. Other local breeds commonly known as Baladi, which used to cost SR 700 a head, are now priced at SR 1,000.
The Najd breed (the name being derived from the Najd region) is widely preferred in Riyadh and the Central Province and is being sold at SR 1,700 or more. This breed does not have a big market in Jeddah.
Saudis in Jeddah and the Western Province prefer the white-skinned Harri, which used to cost SR 1,000 before Ramadan, but is now fetching over SR 1,300. Harri and other breeds are from Taif and Al-Baha.
At SR 1000 (compared to SR 600 earlier), Sawakini is the lowest priced and is a favorite among expat communities. Four shiploads of Sawakini sheep arrive daily on average from Sudan at the Jeddah Islamic Port, according to a Sudanese field salesperson.
The recent arrest of a Yemeni national by the Jeddah police for stealing 39 sheep, which he intended to sell in the market, only goes to show the lucrative nature of the business.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Education is planning to increase the role of its subsidiary committees in the region and governorates to address the issue of schools increasing the fees on one pretext or another.A source in the ministry has been quoted as s...
JEDDAH: In view of a delay by Twitter in blocking the accounts of Daesh and its supporters, Saudi Twitterati have launched an online campaign demanding closure of these accounts which are being used to spread terror by those who have links with the...
JEDDAH: A young Saudi, who was born disabled, is today considered the best and most famous painter and designer in the Kingdom, professionals working in the area say.Despite being handicapped by birth, Rakan Kurdi, 22, has never given up and has mana...
DAMMAM: All Saudi airports, particularly King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) in Dammam, lack a tourism attraction strategy which requires a formal decision from the government, said Saeed Al-Qahtani, an investor in the tourism sector.He said: “In...
JEDDAH: Interpol is looking for two Saudis — a former Jeddah mayor and former president of a sports club — who have been convicted in cases related to the 2009 flash floods here.The ex-mayor was sentenced to seven years in prison while the sports off...
RIYADH: The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently discussed here the scope of cooperation with the Kingdom’s Public Education Evaluation Commission (PEEC) in the field of education.The delegation was headed...
RIYADH: Investors and proprietors of recruitment offices have blamed the Ministry of Labor for the rise in the number of illegal brokers, saying that some of the rules are actually counterproductive and promoting black market.The ministry has put a c...
DAMMAM: A period of 20 months will be granted to deliver residential apartments for beneficiaries in the Eastern Province, starting from the day of delivering land to developers, and not from the date of signing the contract with them, according to a...
ALKHOBAR: Bribery can be eliminated by applying the laws strictly and creating public awareness besides an active role by citizens, experts say.Abdulrahman Al-Zahian, a researcher in legal affairs and public policy, said: “The Saudi anti-bribery law...
JEDDAH: Zuhair Rahbeeni, a consultant at the Pediatric and Clinical Genetics Department of Medical Genetics at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, said that the criteria used for premarital health examinations fall short of proper st...
JEDDAH: The police in Jeddah found a runaway girl after 17 days. A news website reported that she had gone missing after she took a taxi on one of Jeddah's roads.The mother of the girl said that the police found the girl on Friday after 17 days. She...
JEDDAH: Since the launch of the Asir Initiative, “Asir … a major tourism destination all year round,” under the patronage of Asir Governor and Chairman of the Tourism Development Council Prince Faisal bin Khalid at the end of 2013, the region has man...
RIYADH: King Saud University (KSU), which is leading the vanguard in promoting and supporting scientific research in the Kingdom, will host the Saudi international conference on scientific publishing for 2015 to discuss issues and challenges surround...
RIYADH: The National Committee for Contractors (NCC) at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) and representatives from the Ministry of Labor denied on Sunday delays in releasing SR2,400 in compensation to contractors once the criteria have been finaliz...
MAKKAH: Being at the front of the House of God and the peace and tranquility in the Grand Mosque are feelings that cannot be described, said Egyptian pilgrim Abdul Rahman Mustafa.The Umrah pilgrim appeared to be very happy and content. “Thank God, I...

Stay Connected

Facebook