Red meat imports not meeting domestic demand- Iran official

Business Materials 22 July 2018 15:44 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, July 22

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:

With the daily import of 120 tons of red meat alongside domestic production, there is not enough of the product to meet domestic demand, the head of Tehran Guild Union for Lamb Meat Supply and Distribution.

With the approach of months of Muharram (the first month of the Islamic calendar that starts on Sept. 11) and religious ceremonies, more livestock is being smuggled out of Iran to neighboring countries from south, Ali Asghar Maleki told Trend on July 22.

Every year, demand for red meat in Iran and many other Muslim countries increases during the period, as they offer votive food as part of the Islamic culture.

He added that the current imports of red meat have failed to balance the need in the domestic market and that the country needs to import more.

Currently, 10 percent of domestic demand for red meat is met by imports, which annually averages at 80,000-100,000 tons.

Maleki further noted that Iran Veterinary Organization has issued permits for imports of livestock, but merchants import only meat instead of livestock due to risks and potential casualties.

This could jeopardize the issue of entrepreneurship, he noted.

The official further said the price of live animals in Iraq is higher than that of Iran’s and that is why smuggling is on the rise.

Earlier, the director general of the Economic Affairs and Commercial Policies Office with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade had said the government was importing, storing and distributing 120 tons of lamb and mutton on a daily basis to control high prices in the market.