Tanzania: Election fever lifts meat prices in Dar

Prices of meat in Dar es Salaam has surged to historic high pushed up by low supply of cattle due to general election associated risks and drought.

The wholesale price for steak was up by over one-third to 7,000/- pushing retail price to 9,000/- while demand outstripped supply. 

Vingunguti’s Traders Association of Livestock and its Products Assistant General Secretary, Mr Joel Meshack, said the number of slaughtered cattle a day has gone down dramatically.

“We use to slaughter between 450 and 600 cows a day at Vingunguti but currently we are doing 300 and 350,” Mr Meshack said.

The Secretary said due to risks associated with election traders feared to send livestock at auction sites from upcountry thus affecting the entire supply-chain. He said drought is another variable that has minimised good pasture hence reducing the quality of good grade cows.

For instance, a grade Ait is cow price, after slaughtered, has almost doubled to between 900,000/- and 950,000/- for 130 kilogramme animal. While an animal weighing around 150kg, the price shot up to between 1.0m/- and 1.1m/- each.

Vingunguti slaughtering house is the biggest in the country. A ‘nyama choma’ trader at Buguruni told ‘Daily News’ that the price of steak has forced him to reduce the size of meat to retain the same price of a potion.

“Before price raise a potion size was almost like half a kilo but now it is somewhat a quarter of a kilo...the steak price at a butcher has climbed to 8,000/- a kg,” the trader said.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that on average cattle supply at Pugu in last month increased slightly by 2.7 per cent 528 per market day from 514 cows of previous month.

The small increase in supply, on average, pushed the price of all grade cattle at the market by between 0.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent. This means, according to the report, the prices for grade 2 and 3 has gone up by between 450,000/- and 800,000/- a cattle.

However, the female G3 grade the price dropped by 4.7 per cent to 450,000/- from 472,500/- a cow. Meanwhile, the wholesale prices of sheep and goat also increased 1.0 per cent to 8.0 per cent and 1.0 per cent 7.0per cent respectively.

The price of sheep increased by between 55,000/- and 100,000/- while goat increase between 65,000/- and 120,000/- per animal.

The election associated risks has not adversely impacted the livestock market alone, but also affected the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE). Stock brokers associated the last week low turnover of 12.36 per cent to 112.10bn/- to the same, as foreigner participations dwindled.

“The election fear reduced foreign investors’ participation in the equity market resulting into fall of share prices, thus discouraging local investors (sellers) to release more shares for sale at low price,” Zan Securities Chief Executive Officer, Mr Raphael Masumbuko, said.
Sources: Daily News, reported by Abduel Elinaza, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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