Meat prices increase further

Photo shows beef at a butcher shop in DhakaProthom Alo file photo

With less than a month to go for Ramadan, prices of beef have increased further in Dhaka markets. Traders said the price hike was caused by a crisis of supply. Chicken prices remain high while mutton is still out of reach of the common people.

During spot visits in the capital’s Malibagh, Maghbazar and Shahjahanpur kitchen markets, most of the traders were seen selling beef at Tk 700-750 a kg, with a few traders giving it at Tk 720 a kg. Beef price was below Tk 700 a kg in the last week of January.

The price of beef started dropping suddenly at the end of 2023, with traders selling Tk 600 a kg. As a group of traders objected to these prices, the government fixed beef prices at Tk 650 a kg and traders sold beef at Tk 600-650 a kg until the 12th parliamentary election on 7 January.

According to Monday’s market price report of the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), beef was sold for Tk 700-750 a kg and the price rose by Tk 50 a kg. TCB said beef prices also increased this year as it was sold for Tk 700-720 a kg during the corresponding period of last year.

Bangladesh Meat Traders Association President Golam Murtaza told Prothom Alo that cattle prices fell slightly at the end of last year, so, traders lowered beef prices and customers were also buying enthusiastically. Currently, farmers are reluctant to leave their cattle in the hope of higher prices during Ramadan and Eid-ul-Azha, and that affects the beef price, he added.

Price of other meat

Mutton was sold for Tk 1,000-1,100 a kg while broiler chicken was sold for Tk 190-200 a kg, sonali chicken for Tk 300-310 a kg.

Bangladesh Poultry Association president Sumon Howlader told Prothom Alo a syndicate turned the egg and chicken markets volatile ahead of Ramadan last year. This time, they are also seen becoming active. Prices of chicks have already been raised to hold general farmers hostage, and that usually increased the production cost of eggs and chickens, he added.

In the meantime, production of meat slumped in the country for the first time in nine years since the 2013-14 fiscal.

Production of meat slumped in the country for the first time in nine years since the 2013-14 fiscal, according to the fisheries and livestock ministry. Production decreased by 555,000 tonnes to 8.71 million tonnes in the 2022-23 fiscal from 9.27 million tonnes in the 2021-22 fiscal. Livestock production has increased since the 2013-14 fiscal despite the fall in meat production in the last fiscal. The number of livestock and poultry also rose to 442.85 million in the 2022-23 fiscal from 432.38 million in the 2021-22 fiscal.