Prices of beef and mutton have increased sharply across the country ahead of Ramadan, creating more pressure on the middle and fixed-income groups who are already coping with the soaring commodity prices.
Lack of proper market management, indiscriminate import of frozen meat and hike in feed prices are key factors behind the price hike, said the market insiders.
Beef price has increased by 10.66 percent and the mutton price increased by 5.88 percent in a month, according to TCB statistics.
Beef was selling at Tk 560-580 per kg and mutton at Tk 850-880 per kg three weeks ago in the capital, according to market sources.
Rabiul Alam, secretary-general of Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Merchants Association (DMMMA), told Daily Sun that there are multiple reasons for the price hike of beef and mutton in the country.
“Frozen meat importers have increased the price of their meat, which has shot up the prices of all meat items,” he said.
“There is no market monitoring and management system in the country. For this, some traders are increasing the price of meat indiscriminately. The authority of two city corporations did not have any discussions with the stakeholders for fixing the prices of meat in last two years,” he said.
Ozir Alam Mona, a meat trader at Mohammadpur Krishi Market, said the price of mutton increased in the last two weeks.
“Traders were selling mutton at Tk 850-950 per kg on Thursday,” he said, adding that price will increase further as farmers are hoarding goats for the Eid-ul-Azha.
Amirul Islam, a private company employee who was trying to buy beef at the market, said, “We cannot afford beef every week due to its skyrocketing price. Meat price is going beyond our purchasing capacity.”
Kamruddin, a beef seller at the market, said a medium-sized cow weighing 140 kgs was trading at Tk 70,000 to Tk 75,000 at the Gabtoli cattle market over the last two weeks.
Many cattle farmers are also selling animals in lesser numbers as they are expecting more profits during Ramadan and Eid-Ul-Azha, he said.
Bangladesh’s annual meat consumption is 7.3 million tonnes against the production of 7.6 million tonnes, according to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) data.