20% drop seen in sheep prices

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Sheep prices are expected to decline by 20 percent following the lifting of ban on livestock imports from Somalia and arrival of two million heads of sheep, said Fahd Bin Siban Al-Sulami, a member of the board of directors of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

Al-Sulami said traders and investors in the sector have started receiving truck loads of sheep at Jeddah Islamic Port (JIP) and other seaports in the country to meet huge demand for livestock during Haj and Eid Al-Adha, when many people sacrifice animals to win the pleasure of Allah.

Annual investments in the Kingdom’s livestock market are estimated at SR11 billion, Al-Sulami said while praising the government’s efforts to ensure food security to enable citizens to lead a decent life.

He commended the decision taken by Environment, Water and Agriculture Minister Abdul Rahman Al-Fadl to lift the ban on cattle imports from Somalia after reopening the quarantine.

He said the government’s decision to import cattle from different countries including Spain and Georgia would stabilize prices, adding that it would benefit both traders and consumers.

“The Saudi livestock market mainly depends on imports from Somalia and Sudan,” Al-Sulami said while talking to Al-Watan. About 80 percent of sheep sold in the market come from these two countries while the remaining heads of sheep are reared inside the country.

He said the reopening of imports from Somalia would not only contribute to market stability but also bring down prices by more than 20 percent. “Many factors including fall in exchange rate of Sudanese pound have contributed to falling sheep prices in the Kingdom.”

Al-Sulami said playing with sheep prices would not benefit anybody. “It’s demand and supply that determines sheep prices in the Kingdom. Adequate supply of sheep with the arrival of truckloads of cattle will naturally decrease prices,” he explained.

Source: – Saudi Gazette