Downer before Eid: Animal prices soar

Downer before Eid: Animal prices soar

The prices of livestock have shot up in the Sharjah cattle market, in anticipation of Eid Al Adha, with the prices of some animals more than doubling.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Thu 25 Oct 2012, 9:40 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:35 PM

And traders are expecting the prices to escalate even further during Eid eve and the first day of Eid. The price hikes come just weeks after the Ministry of Economy declared prices during the period would be fixed for the first time, with traders required to get approval for price lists.

Customer Abdullkhalig Fahmi said the market was full of livestock for people to come and buy their sacrifices, but traders were exploiting the occasion and hiking prices. He said traders were fabricating stories of a lack of animals in the market in order to drive up prices. Fellow customer Kamil Al Jazooli agreed there was a huge mark-up.

“I’m always keen to buy the animal for sacrifice two days before Eid, and every year (I) find big difference between the prices in normal days and days before Eid.”

He said he had bought for Dh1,000 a goat which was earlier sold for Dh400, but even that price was expected to increase to Dh1,500 on the Eve of Eid.

The number of traders and customers are expected to jump by more than 50 per cent on tonight and tomorrow morning.

Disgruntled customers said they thought traders were selling underweight animals first to get rid of them and hiding the good quality meat for the last day to fetch very high prices. A large number of animals have been imported from other countries to meet demand during Eid Al Adha.

Market control

But while traders at the cattle market acknowledged they tried to garner extra profits during Eid, they attributed some of the hike in prices to the high cost of importing them from various countries, which escalate prices for Eid Al Adha. Trader Mohammed Allamuldeen said prices of animal feed are very high, with one sheep consuming a bag of feed worth Dh30-50 per day.

“The prices of animals increase on the occasion of Eid because it’s the only time that we can make some profit as the market is very slow during normal days and we spent too much money to feed animals which are imported, as here in the UAE there is a lack of pastures.”

Muneer Khan, another trader, said prices increased during the Eid eve and in the morning of the first day of Eid due to a lack of market control.

He said the municipality’s inspectors came everyday to the market, but only focused on the health of animals and never discussed prices.

Animal Health

Sharjah cattle market clinic veterinian Ziad Al Sulti said that some customers were taken for a ride by traders as they didn’t know the difference between different breeds of animals, or were conned into buying sick livestock.

“We carry out inspections everyday and check the health of the animal to ensure customers are buying healthy animals, because some traders sell ill animals with high temperatures to customers.”

He advised people to check animals’ rear for small pimples that mean the animal is ill.

He said last year, a whole Eid shipment of livestock were sick, and the shipment was returned. Al Sulti also said checking the prices of animals was the duty of the Ministry of Economy, not the clinic.

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