KARACHI: A week before Eidul Azha, sales of sacrificial animals have so far been depressed due to low turnover of buyers in the Asia’s biggest cattle market at Super Highway.
Animals’ presence in residential areas is also quite low. Cattle traders, however, hope that buyers will throng the markets from Monday.
One reason of lacklustre sales so far is the timing as people are normally low on cash during the closing days of month.
Naveed Baig, spokesman for the mandi, said animal arrivals have so far been brisk despite low number of buyers. Around 150,000 cows and 40,000 goats and sheep have been registered since the Cattle Market was set up in the first week of September.
He recalled that around 180,000 to 190,000 cows and 80,000 to 90,000 goats and sheep were registered last year. The arrival of cows mainly remained in the range of 190,000 to 200,000 in the previous years.
The actual sales of cows and goats cannot be ascertained because of various makeshift markets around the city. Many people are also seen standing on the road side, especially carrying goats. Besides, four to five more authorised cattle markets are also operating in Karachi, but most buyers prefer Super Highway Market.
These makeshift animal sellers, who emerge every year often with the connivance of authorities and the police, are demanding high prices thus giving very narrow option of bargaining to the buyers.
The spokesman said around 43 VIP tents have been set up this year, almost the same as last year’s.
Abdul Razzak, a worker at Afridi Cattle, said a pair of heavyweight bulls was put on display carrying price of Rs7 million, but it was bargained at Rs5.5m. According to him, cows’ and bulls’ prices range between Rs300,000-400,000 and Rs2.5 million. He said he had sold many animals this time around and still had a stock of 150. Last year, he sold 500 to 600 animals.
Jam Jameel of Sindh Dairy and Cattle Farm said that he had 88 bulls and cows, of which 25 were imported and cost Rs500,000 to Rs2.2m. Jameel, who sold 285 animals last year, has so far sold 160.
Because of sharp price hike in cow meat, more than 50 per cent share in total cow sale would remain in the price range of Rs60,000-80,000. However, last year, cows carrying price tag of Rs45,000-70,000 were in high demand, a cattle trader said.
As for goats, many roadside cattle traders are seen carrying a pair demanding Rs30,000 to Rs60,000 depending on the weight and looks.
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2014