Meat imports surge ahead of Ramadan

| 23/08/2009 | Reply

Tom Arnold

Meat
imports to the UAE and the Gulf are expected to rise by as much as 15
per cent during the month of Ramadan, according to importers.

The
next four weeks will also be one of the busiest periods of the year for
the global meat industry, and Ramadan coincides with high seasonal
demand from European, US and Australian markets.

Al Tayeb Meat
Establishment, an Abu Dhabi-based wholesaler, is increasing the volumes
of chicken, lamb, beef and fish it imports to the GCC by between 10 to
15 per cent, said the marketing manager Nand Kumar. Al Tayeb stocks
local stores such as Lulu, and it sources include Australia, Holland
and India.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), an organisation that
represents the Australian red meat industry, is also expecting exports
of meat to the region to rise by up to 15 per cent.

“This is a
peak time and demand goes up in the Middle East, the northern
hemisphere where it is summer, and in Australia and the southern
hemisphere,” said Lachlan Bowtell, Middle East and North Africa
regional manager for MLA.

Shipments of meat and livestock have arrived in the region in good
time ahead of Ramadan and Eid al Fitr to ensure sufficient supplies in
retail outlets. Last year some shipments arrived late, said Mr Bowtell.

He
said Australian meat was increasingly popular in the region because of
the standards of Australian exporters on meeting halal requirements.

Demand
for meat slaughtered according to halal practices is especially high
around events such as Eid al Adha, the festival of the sacrifice that
coincides with the annual Haj pilgrimage. Australia is the world’s
biggest exporter of live sheep.


Exports of beef from the country to the Middle East have risen from 6,000 tonnes in 2002 to 13,000 tonnes in 2008.

The UAE market has grown to become the second largest export customer for Australian lamb in the last two years behind the US.

Mr Bowtell said demand had held up in the region, despite the impact of the global economic slowdown.

“This
year while we would say that exports of beef and lamb are slightly down
it’s only out of supply out of Australia, not demand from the region,”
he said.

tarnold@thenational.ae

Category: Meat & Poultry, Middle East & Africa

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