Feb 25 2012
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Firms cease to import Australian livestock as market takes a beating
The high price at the source, coupled with government sanctions setting the price at RO90 and easy availability of the cheaper Somalian goat, has forced companies to stop Australian imports.
Leading importer Al Batna Livestock is the only company to have procured animals - close to 20,000 in the last seven months, of which 15,000 were imported during Eid al Adha and rest on the occasion of Eid al Fitr.
"We were the only company to import Australian livestock during Eid al Adha. On October 25, we brought 15,000 animals and managed to sell about 8,000 during the festival. However, since then we have been able to sell only 3,700 animals and still have a stock of 3,300," said Raghunathan, manager, Al Batna Livestock.
"If we don't sell the stock within a month of procurement, the cost of feeding and upkeep keeps rising. As 10,000 is the minimum number of animals we can import from Australia, it is not feasible to continue dealing in livestock from there anymore."
At the Bausher slaughterhouse alone, 9,000-10,000 animals are slaughtered monthly and most are of the Somalian variety, according to Shauqi al Zadjali, director of veterinary services at the slaughter house. "Because of the low price and availability, the Somali variety is the most sought after."
Naveed Ahmed, general manager, Muscat Livestock Company, said that due to the current situation, his company is focusing completely on procuring frozen meat from Australia. "Since the demand for Australian meat has not come down, the import of frozen meat has gone up with the scarcity of animals."
He added that the market is flooded with the Somalian variety as a large number of small-time operators are directly brin- ging goats from Somalia to Salalah, from where it is trucked to different regions. "Who would want a 20-25kg animal for RO90 when the market is full of 15-20kg Somalian goat available for RO35-RO40?"
© Muscat Daily 2012
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