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Bovine meat exports fall on China ban, Brazil competition

Date 06-Apr-2016
Subject Bovine meat exports fall on China ban, Brazil competition

NEW DELHI: India's meat exports have fallen sharply - and it's not the outcry over beef that's responsible. 

The global financial turmoil, low price realisation and a Chinese ban on imports have reduced India's bovine meat exports from a year earlier, when the country dislodged Brazil from the No. 1 spot. Shipments have fallen due to lower demand in high-consumption markets such as Egypt, Syria and Iraq, along with competitive rates offered by Brazil, the secondbiggest exporter. 

India's buffalo meat exports are down almost 16% to $3.17 billion in the first three quarters of 2015-16 from $3.77 billion in the year-ago period. 

The export of sheep and goat meat has declined 5.7% in this period. "Buffalo meat exports have declined and the main reason is the devaluation of Brazilian currency due to which price differential between Indian and Brazilian exports has reduced, rendering us less competitive," said an official. 

The export of sheep and goat meat has declined 5.7% in this period. "Buffalo meat exports have declined and the main reason is the devaluation of Brazilian currency due to which price differential between Indian and Brazilian exports has reduced, rendering us less competitive," said an official. 

India also lost a significant market in China, which prohibits the entry of bovine meat on grounds of alleged foot-and-mouth disease.

Slowing global demand is also not helping India's case, as is evident in the Middle East and Africa. "World over, the economies are down-...Many countries are finding it difficult to sustain their economies," said Sunil Sud, a partner at Delhi based Al-Noor Exports, which, according to its website, is one of the oldest and largest exporters of frozen buffalo meat in the world. Egypt has a currency crisis and demand in Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia is down, he said. 

The situation is contrary to what the US Department of Agriculture said on livestock and poultry meat exports last year in its report in August. 

According to the data, India exported 2.4 million tonnes of beef and veal in 2014-15, compared with 2 million tonnes by Brazil and 1.6 million by Australia. The US government classifies buffalo meat as beef. India does not permit export of beef that includes meat and edible offal (heart, liver, tongue, kidneys) of cows, oxen and calves. 

The official said that due to adverse demand conditions, in many cases Indian exporters are ready to sell at lower prices, especially in the Middle East. 

The industry also blames lack of incentives in the current foreign trade policy for falling bovine meat exports. "The basic problem is global demand. The internal domestic problem has always been there. It is only a contributory factor," the official said. Sud corroborated: "There has been no change in policy. Indian policy has been consistent for many years."

Source: Economictimes.indiatimes.com

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