The Abu Dhabi Livestock Market in Mina Zayed. Traders said animals from overseas are being brought in by air as they cannot be shipped due to the hot and humid weather. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Livestock prices have witnessed an increase at the Abu Dhabi Livestock Market in Mina Zayed, ahead of the Eid Al Fitr celebrations owing to the huge demand for meat.

Livestock traders, however, described the price hikes as nothing unusual as animal prices witness a jump during festivities, particularly during peak summer when supply of animals from overseas gets reduced due to hot weather. But they reassured there would be no shortage of livestock in the market.

The price hikes range between Dh40 and Dh60 per animal.

Speaking to Gulf News, Taj Mohammad, a livestock trader from Pakistan at Al Khalid Al Hussain Trading Establishment who has been in the business for 30 years, said, “During June, July and August, animals can’t be shipped because they fall sick and die due to heat and humidity over the sea. Importers bring them in by air cargo, so prices of the animals go up accordingly.

“We just earn a very small fraction of money and generally we sell as we buy from Dubai’s big importers,” he said, adding that the prices will go down again in September when animals from India and Pakistan are shipped again.

Another trader Ahmad Al Yafei at Qaf Lilmawashi said, “Because of Ramadan and Eid, the prices have shot up to Dh50 per animal. A 10-12kg sheep, which was sold at Dh730 earlier is now going for over Dh800.”

As for the varieties, a Najdi big sheep (15kg) is sold at Dh550, Naeemi local small sheep (7kg) for Dh700-750, and Naeemi big (16kg) for Dh850. The Kashmiri sheep are priced at Dh500 and Dh550 for over 15kg, while the Kashmiri goat is going for Dh550 and Dh600 for 10-12kg. The prices, however, can be brought down with a bit of bargaining.

Nawab Khan from Florida Trading Establishment said the price differences are not significant, but they may witness a further jump after Eid when shipments of animals from neighbouring countries stop due to rising temperatures.

Some Naeemi sheep of 18kg are sold at Dh1,000, he said, with the prices depending on the size and breed.

Typically, prices go up ahead of Eid Al Adha when animals are brought into the market for the purpose of sacrifice, the traders added.