Indian mutton to be back in market by next week

DUBAI — Indian mutton is likely to be back in the shops and supermarkets in the Emirates, latest by next week. However, some supermarket managers and Indian mutton importers caution it may cost a trifle more than previously, at least initially.

By Joy Sengupta

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Published: Tue 13 Feb 2007, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:31 AM

A local importer of Indian mutton clarified that although the Indian government’s restrictions on mutton exports are still there, they are likely to be lifted within the next couple of days.

He also explained, “these restrictions came into effect last August, following advice from the World Organisation for Animal Health and as a precautionary measure against foot-and-mouth disease.”

Indian mutton, he added, is quite popular here and its long absence from the UAE market “had boosted the sale of Pakistani mutton. And that, at a premium price. But now with the expected re-entry of Indian mutton, the price of Pakistani meat is likely to drop and stabilise at previous levels. But it may take a while.”

According to available figures, UAE imports on an average of 2,500 tonnes of frozen and chilled meat and meat products every month.

Sources add that around 14 tonnes of meat was earlier being imported daily from India, Somalia and Pakistan. Of this, around 10 tonnes of meat was being sourced from India alone.

Abdul Salim, general manager of the Abu Dhabi-based M.K Group, one of the biggest importers of Indian mutton in the UAE said, “Indian mutton consignments have yet to start arriving. But according to our sources in New Delhi, we expect it to be on the racks by the end of this week as soon as the mutton export restrictions have been lifted.”

The retail price of Indian mutton was being quoted at between Dh17 to Dh20 per kg earlier — much lower than Australian or Somali mutton in the market. Pakistani mutton, following the ‘ban’ on Indian mutton exports shot up from Dh20 to Dh25 per kg.

Meanwhile, Hisham Kamal, an official in the butchery section at Lulu Supermarket, said “Some importers we are told have already brought Indian meat samples. But the full flow of Indian meat supplies is expected to begin only next week.” Spinney’s and Carrefour supermarket staff opined the same.

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