Sheep prices hold steady for much of the year in Kuwait except during the holy festivals of Eid and especially around the time of Eid Al Adha. Depending on vendor, the sheep’s origin and the day. Prices can range from KD 30 to KD 85 during normal ties but can more than double during Eid. For example, during non holiday times a sheep from Kuwait runs around KD 85 but now during Eid will go for as much as KD 145.
Fahad Ihrees, a sheep vendor at the sheep market in Al Rai said that the price falls between KD 95 – KD 155 depending on the origin of the sheep. “The cheapest kind I’m selling is the Syrian ‘Naeemi’ which comes from Syria and it costs KD 95. The Kuwaiti sheep Saudi sheep will cost KD 145. I also offer home delivery service, so the customer can receive his sheep at the door of his house,” he told the Kuwait Times.
Other vendors are charging as high as KD 180 or more for the same sheep that costs KD 120 only a few weeks ago. “The prices are going to shoot up further until the last day of Eid Al-Adha,” said Ahmad Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi worker at a local sheep market.
According to Chowdhury, unscrupulous traders are responsible for creating an artificial shortage of sacrificial livestock in the market, fuelling high demand. While sheep from Jordan costs from KD 120 to KD 140, Iranian varieties cost from KD 100 to KD 120.
At the same time prices of ‘Shafali’ variety of Iraqi sacrificial sheep have reached KD 125 in the local market. “When I checked out the prices of Australian sheep in the market a month ago, they were available at prices ranging from KD 30 to KD 40. Now, their prices have reached KD 70 and upwards,” Sayeed Khalid, an Indian expat commented.
The Australian variety are considered the common man’s sacrificial sheep. Both citizens and expats are upset over this price rise despite a government assurance that the local livestock market is under the close watch of the authorities and they are regularly monitoring the fluctuations of prices.
At the same time, traders claim that there is a genuine rise in demand for sacrificial animals during Eid. “There is a real shortage of livestock in Kuwait markets this time and we are struggling to meet the demand,” a trader at a Wafra market said. According to him, the government has banned imports of the Saudi variety of Naeemi sheep for the last year and this has also contributed to the paucity of sheep in the local market.
Mutlaq Al-Shamiri, another vendor noted that the most preferred are sheep from Iran as it’s cheap and has good quality. “The cheapest is the hybrid that costs KD 90, then comes the Iranian which is sold for KD 95. I sell the Saudi and the Kuwaiti for the same price of KD 130.
The Kuwaiti Naemi costs KD 145, and this is the most expensive in my place. The size or weight of the sheep does not affect its price. The customer can choose the one he likes,” he pointed out. According to him the peak when most people buy sheep from the market is the Arafa Day which is today, one day before Eid Al Adha. “I don’t provide home delivery, thus for my old customers I can offer this service. The good thing about buying from the sheep market is that the slaughter house is just a few meters far from here so they can immediately slaughter the sheep.
Also there is a veterinary, so if he found anything wrong on the sheep, the customer can come back and exchange that sheep with another one,” stressed Al-Shamiri. “I buy the sheep from the wholesale traders or the auctions. Then I sell them here at the sheep market for a little profit. So it’s not me who increase the price, as I’m depending on the original price,” he further said
Source: Kuwait Times