Beef Prices Fall as Cattle Supplies Rise in Zimbabwe31 January 2012
ZIMBABWE - Prices of beef have dropped following an increased supply of cattle by farmers. Beef and Poultry Association of Zimbabwe president, Mr Solomon Zawe, confirmed the decrease on Thursday.
"There are more cattle on the market because local farmers have started selling their livestock. This is why prices are going down," Mr Zawe said, reports TheHeraldOnline
Beef prices have been on a steady rise last year but increased sharply around the festive season. Beef prices are seasonal and increase during holidays. The prices went up during November from an average of between US$3,60 and US$5,50 per kg to as high as US$12 per kg for fillet.
Mr Zawe said the prices rose last year after disgruntled local producers withheld their cattle in protest over imports from Botswana. He, however, took a swipe at retailers, accusing them of profiteering by adding huge mark ups.
"We are concerned with this practice as producers because we sell our cattle at reasonable prices, but we are shocked by the beef prices in butcheries and shops. They are failing to observe business ethics and ripping off consumers," Mr Zawe said.
In a survey on Thursday, most supermarkets and butcheries in Harare's Central Business District had started reducing prices.
Most beef prices, which were ranging from US$8,40 per kg for commercial cuts to US$12 per kg for fillet had dropped to between US$6,29 and US$7,50 per kg. In other supermarkets, beef was selling at US$6,20 and US$6,50 per kg. Before the increase in November last year, economy beef was selling for US$5,50 per kg. Specials such as fillet were going for between US$6 and US$7 before the November increases. The beef price increases was triggered after the deal between Cold Storage Company and Botswana ended.
Under the deal signed in July last year, Zimbabwe and Botswana agreed on a beef supply deal to the former. The deal resulted in CSC reviving its Bulawayo abattoirs with at least 1 000 beasts slaughtered daily.
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