News Column

Livestock prices soar 40 percent

June 18, 2014

Sheep are displayed for sale at a market in Riyadh, in this October 11, 2013 file photo. (Reuters)


Livestock prices have gone up by 40 percent as the holiday season kicks in.

Hussein bin Marei, a resident, said he usually buys at least two free-range sheep at SR600 each for Ramadan because he uses the meat for traditional soup. However, he discovered the price has now gone up to nearly SR900, forcing him to buy only one instead.

He said soup has always been one of his family's main dishes at iftar, and was something he was not willing to give up.

Traders are pushing up prices because of the high demand caused by the onset of the holidays, which includes the wedding season.

Several merchants and traders in Jeddah said Ramadan had also played a major role in their decision to raise prices.

Some traders deliberately hold onto their cattle to sell at higher prices during the summer and month of Ramadan.

Some traders said prices are likely to continue rising throughout the summer to as much as SR1,400 for a sheep. But others said that this was unlikely.

They said the size of the Saudi market, after the decision to lift the ban on imports from abroad, to be around SR4 billion consisting of about 6 million head of sheep, of which 80 percent are imported.

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Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

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