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Livestock Export Ban to Be Lifted Soon

Business & Markets Desk
Iran’s per capita red meat consumption is 11.5 kilograms.Iran’s per capita red meat consumption is 11.5 kilograms.

The Agriculture Commission of the Iranian Parliament has decided to lift the livestock export ban in the near future, the head of Iran’s Livestock Exporters National Assembly told Financial Tribune on Wednesday.

“Last year and in the 11th month of the Iranian calendar, Bahman (Jan. 20-Feb. 18, 2017), a ban was placed on livestock exports due to the chaotic situation in the domestic market and the rise in meat prices,” Mansour Pourian added.

“At that time, the media’s negative propaganda affected the psychological atmosphere of the society, giving rise to the false impression that the reason for the increase in prices was the shortage of meat arising from excessive exports.”

The official explained that this was never the case and the problem stemmed from the failure of related bodies in controlling the prices of different kinds of light meat (from lamb and goat) from slaughter houses to retailers.

“Our meat production has never declined. Yet, improper management of the market caused us to lose our export destinations, including Oman, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, for which we had spent a lot of money and carried out considerable marketing plans. Now our rivals, including Australia, New Zealand, Jordan, Greece and the Eurasian countries, have replaced us in those countries. Regaining a foothold in these markets will be a difficult task for us.”

Interestingly, adds Pourian, the bulk of Iranian meat exports, before the ban was imposed, consisted of heavy livestock (calf, bulls and camels) rather that light livestock.

“Yet, we were approaching the New Year holidays when demand rises and presidential elections were coming. Therefore, to relieve the market anxiety, authorities decided to ban the export of livestock altogether.

As a result, livestock exporters incurred losses of over $400 million during the more than seven months the ban was in place.”

About 476,000 tons of red meat were produced in official slaughterhouses across Iran in the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2017), which indicates a 12% rise compared to the year before, according to the Statistical Center of Iran.

Meat production from lamb rose 11%, goat 1%, beef and veal 14%, bison 5% and camel meat 21%. Iran’s per capita red meat consumption is 11.5 kilograms while per capita production stands at 10.5 kg, IRNA reported.

The Statistical Center of Iran has released figures on annual meat production at official slaughterhouses since 1968.

According to the Association of Cattle Breeders, Iran’s red meat production is 820,000 tons per year, while consumption is about 880,000 tons. The deficit is met through imports.

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