KARACHI: The price of beef has gone up by Rs20 per kilogram in the last two weeks as retailers are cashing in on rising demand.
For example, veal meat with bones was selling for Rs420-440 per kg in North Nazimabad on Thursday while the price of boneless meat was Rs520-540. Shops in the locality of Water Pump, Federal B. Area, were selling veal meat with bones for Rs420 per kg and boneless meat for Rs520. Mutton was selling for Rs800 per kg in both areas.
Beef and mutton prices have risen by as much as Rs50 per kg since the start of the year.
In Burnes Road, the price of veal meat with bones has increased to Rs460 and that of boneless meat to Rs600 per kg. The price of mutton was Rs850 per kg on Thursday as compared to Rs800 earlier this year.
The prices were the highest in Tariq Road where mutton was selling for Rs900 per kg, whereas the price of veal meat with bones was Rs450.
In 2013, the price of veal meat with bones was Rs320 to Rs350 per kg and that of boneless meat was Rs440 to Rs450.
In the middle of 2016, the government fixed the rate of mutton at Rs550 per kg, veal meat with bones at Rs320 and veal meat without bones at Rs440. However, the price list issued by the city government is hardly followed by any retailer. Some shopkeepers do display the official price list to avoid fines and arrest, but they charge customers at whim.
Traders cited different reasons for the increase in red meat prices. Some said the wholesale price of veal meat has risen by Rs1,000 per 40kg as a large quantity of animals were going to Quetta, Iran and Afghanistan.
Another beef dealer said the price hike was usual as meat, like most commodities, became costlier each year ahead of Ramazan and Eidul Fitr.
As for mutton, a trader said prices were rising as dealers in Punjab were buying goats from Sindh in bulk.
A few years back the meat dealers used to blame rising exports as one of the major reasons for increase in prices.
This year, however, exports of meat and meat preparations fell to 43,125 tonnes (costing $163 million) in July-March 2016-17 as compared to 61,656 tonnes ($212m) a year earlier, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2017