EghtesadOnline: A total of 54,947 tons of red meat were produced in Iran’s official slaughterhouses during the month ending Dec. 21 to register a 52% rise compared with the similar month of last year and a 0.3% month-on-month decline.
The Statistical Center of Iran's latest report shows beef accounted for 28,809 tons, or 52.4% of the overall production, indicating a year-on-year increase of 39.6%.
A total of 21,744 tons of lamb (up 76% YOY), 3,368 tons of goat meat (up 23% YOY) and 1,026 tons of meat from other types of livestock were produced during the one-month period, accounting for 39.6%, 6.1% and 1.9% of the total output respectively, SCI reported on its website.
This is while demand for red meat has declined by 25-30% and per capita consumption decreased to 8.5 kilograms (12 kg=standard) in the current Iranian year (March 2020-21) compared to the year before, according to the chairman of Iran Sheep Meat Union.
“The decline in meat consumption has been higher than in previous years due to rising prices,” Ali Asghar Maleki was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Monday.
Ban on Livestock Exports Lifted
The Agriculture Ministry recently communicated the termination of the ban on light and heavy livestock exports in a directive to its subsidiaries as well as to the ministries of industries and economy, as well as the Plan and Budget Organization.
Based on the directive signed by Javad Sadatinejad, who is also the head of Agricultural Products Pricing Council, the relevant bodies have until Oct. 20 to determine the ceiling and type of livestock for exports, such that exports do not disturb the domestic market, ILNA reported.
The official noted that the ban on export of livestock used for breeding will remain in place, adding that the State Livestock Affairs Logistics Company has been appointed as the executive body for the new measure’s implementation and is mandated to collaborate with associations, unions and the private sector to monitor the impact of exports on the domestic market.
“Presently, a total of 7 million light and 200,000 heavy head of livestock are in excess of domestic demand in Iran’s rural and nomadic regions, as well as in industrial farms,” says Mansour Pourian, the head of National Livestock Supply Council.
“The new directive, for which we had been negotiating, debating and waiting for so long, can help save the industry by ridding animal farms of their overweight livestock that have no customers in the domestic market and have accumulated in farms, consuming feed that is currently scarce and expensive. Livestock farmers have been complaining about this difficult situation for months and now, there seems to be some hope for change,” the official was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Sadatinejad explained that as per the new directive, light livestock weighing over 55 kilograms and heavy ones over 750 kilograms qualify for exports.
“There are now more than 70 million light and 8.2 million head of heavy livestock in Iran. Given these figures as well as the surplus, export is not likely to cause any inconvenience or disruption in the domestic market,” he said.
“It is expected that 500,000 head of light and 50,000 head of heavy livestock will be shipped to export destinations, the Persian Gulf littoral countries and Iraq in particular, in the near future.”
Pourian noted that these figures are not high at all, but official exports per se can reduce the volume of livestock smuggled out of Iran and open space for newly-born and young cattle and herds that are in demand in the country.