20051202-QATAR-008
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Livestock Prices Shoot Up

When the Eid al Adha marks the end of the Hajj (the annual prilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims communities throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Festival of Sacrifice (Eid al Adha).

The idea is for Muslims to remember the trial and triumph of Prophet Abraham (or Ibrahim as the Muslim name) of his complete obedience to the will of God. During this celebration, Muslims commemorate by themselves slaughtering an animal such as sheep, camel or goat. The meat of the sacrificed animal were distributed among families, friends and most importantly is among the poor.

Thus approaching the D-Day, people start buying livestock to then slaughter it on the Eid-al-Adha day. This is what happened in Qatar, as only a day left for Eid al-Adha, prices of sacrificial animals have risen sharply. Prospective buyers are thronging the livestock market where sheep, goats, camels and cows, from as far afield as Syria and Yemen, are on sale.

This is what happen in the market place that sells livestock in Qatar:

Shopping for an army?

While the government-owned livestock company Mawashi has issued a fixed price list for sheep and cows from different countries, buyers were seen haggling over prices for a bargain. These are the example of the fixed price issued by Mawashi on Australian sheep at QR600, Syrian QR1,200, Sudanese QR850, Iranian QR950, Indian QR500 and Somali QR450.  (1USD = 3.64 QR)

Outside Mawashi’s yard, a herder quoted the price of a year-old Sudanese sheep at QR350. An 18-month-old Yemeni sheep was available for QR850, a similarly-aged sheep from Somalia ranged between QR500 and 800, while sheep from Syria was going for QR1,350.

In comparison, July 2008 (off-season) an Australian sheep cost QR450 while the price of a Syrian sheep was fixed at QR800 by the livestock company…. How could this happen, Syrian sheep more than twice higher than its usual price???? Is this because of inflation in Qatar or because of supply and demand economy theory????

Compare cow prices: Mawashi priced Australian cows at QR4,200 while the ones from Somalia are sold for QR3,600 each. Private sellers, meanwhile, are offering locally-bred cows ranging from QR3,000 to QR7,000, depending on the size, health and age of the animal. Pakistani cows were available for QR3,000 to QR5,000, according to traders.

Goats from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Somalia were also available yesterday at an average price of QR850.

The livestock market is also selling camels from Qatar, Saudi, Oman and other countries in the region. A mixed-breed camel (half Omani, half Sudanese) was quoted at QR7,000 by a trader yesterday. However, another seller was asking for QR5,000 for an eight-month-old Saudi camel.

Qatari camels are traditionally more expensive because buyers assume they have been fed and cared for well, a Yemeni seller said.

Business in livestock fodder is also thriving. A sack of Qatari fodder is being sold at QR12, while the same quantity from Iran is priced at QR10. A bundle of fodder from Iran (about 30kg) is available at QR35. The same from Sudan cost QR50.

Now how about in Indonesia, that has biggest Muslim population in the world?

Filed under: eJournal, Expat Archive

About the Author

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I used to live as an expat and travel around the Middle East. After 10 years working in the Arabian Gulf I am now retired and living in the UK with my British husband but still retain my interests of further travels and exploring new horizons in Europe.

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