KARACHI: The export of meat and meat preparations reached an all-time high of 104,513 tonnes in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, fetching $431 million at an average per-tonne price of $4,121.

Before this, meat exports had achieved a record of 100,194 tonnes ($427m) during FY23, breaking the previous all-time high of 95,648 tonnes ($331mn) during FY21.

Dealers continued to link higher domestic meat prices to surging exports, followed by animal smuggling to Afghanistan.

According to data from the Sensitive Price Index (SPI), the national average price of beef with bone (average quality) is Rs700-1,250 per kg, compared to Rs600-1,050 in in July 2023.

The national average price of mutton (average quality) rose to Rs1,500-2,300 per kg from Rs1,400-2,000 during June 2023.

In the last one year, veal (bachia) meat with and without bones rose to Rs1,200-1,300 and Rs1,500-1,600 per kg from Rs1,000-1,100 and Rs1,200-1,300.

Exploring new markets by the exporters has paid off in the last two to three years. Meat exports have remained in the range of 56,000-85,000 tonnes for the last 12-14 years.

An exporter said that based on rising annual red meat production as per Economic Survey FY23, retailers continued making a hollow point, blaming 100,000 tonnes of meat exports as one of the main reasons for causing price hikes. This small quantity of meat is consumed locally in less than 15 days.

Exporters have been diversifying their shipments to new markets like China and South Africa for cooked beef, boneless frozen beef, and heat-treated/cooked frozen beef for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Central Independent Estates, and Iraq.

For example, Organic Meat Company Ltd (OMCL) informed the Pakistan Stock Exchange this month that the first phase of the operational expansion project at the Gadap processing facility in Karachi has been completed. This project entails a 30pc increase in chilled product capacity, thus significantly increasing overall production capacity.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

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