Excessive Red Meat Imports Criticized
EghtesadOnline: Over 130,000 tons of red meat were imported into Iran in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20), the head of Cattle Farmers Association said.
“This comes as red meat consumption in Iran hovers around 900,000 tons and domestic production reaches 880,000 tons annually. The government should have imported 20,000 tons rather than 130,000 tons,” Ahmad Moqaddasi was also quoted as saying by Tasnim News Agency.
According to this data, there is a surplus of 200,000 beef cattle ready to head for Iran's industrial-scale slaughterhouses. Exports of livestock were banned last year. As a result, production increased significantly, Financial Tribune reported.
Calling on the government to lift the ban on exports, Moqaddasi said, “A kilogram of livestock is now sold at 250,000 rials ($1.6) compared with 390,000 rials ($2.5) in the month ending April 19, 2019.”
Consumption of red meat has seen a 60% decline following the outbreak of the new coronavirus and shutdown of restaurants and ceremony halls, the head of Iran’s Livestock Exporters National Assembly said recently.
Mansour Pourian added that restaurants, hotels and ceremony halls have the biggest share in red meat consumption in Iran, especially during the Iranian New Year holidays (March 20-April 3).
Cattle farms in Iran supplied 380,000 head of heavy livestock and some 2 million tons of milk to the market last winter (Dec. 22, 2019-March 19, 2020), according to the latest report released by the Statistical Center of Iran.
There were a total of 4.5 head of heavy livestock in Iran’s cattle farms in winter. A total of 537,000 calves were born in these farms over the same period, according to SCI.