Pakistan exported 95,991 tonnes of meat and meat preparations (worth $333 million) in fiscal year 21 – an all-time record amount – compared to 83,749 tonnes ($304 million) in the previous year. Compared to FY20, the average price per ton (APT) remained low at $3,473, down from $3,631 that year.
A twist was added to the new fiscal year when the APT price increased to $4,234 in July-August 2021-22 from $3,444 in the same period last fiscal year, despite a decrease in quantity to 11,702 tonnes ($49 million) from 14,974 tonnes ($51.5 million) in the same period FY21, representing a 22 percent decrease in quantity and a 4 percent decrease in value.
Since July 2021, there has been a declining trend in export volumes. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports fell to 5,889 tonnes ($25 million) in July 2021 from 8,176 tonnes ($28 million) in July 2020, a decrease of nearly a third. According to the APT price in July 2020, the APT price was $3,465 compared to $4,182 in July 2021.
Exports totaled 6,047 tonnes ($25 million) in August 2021, compared to 6,798 tonnes ($23 million) in the same month in 2020. During the time period under consideration, the APT increased to $4,213 from $3,418.
Exports have fluctuated between 56,000 and 85,000 tonnes per year during the last ten years.
According to Tariq Mehmood Butt, Managing Director of PK Livestock, Pakistan’s meat exports have been straining to compete with the exporters of African countries, who have been offering more competitive prices for shipments to Middle Eastern markets than local exporters.
However, the enormous depreciation of the rupee versus the dollar that has occurred since May 2021 has offered significant breathing room for exporters, according to him. However, the rise in the price of meat in the local market has lessened the impact of the rupee’s decline versus the dollar. Mr. Butt went on to say that one dollar was worth Rs152 in May 2021, but that it is now worth Rs169 in the interbank market.
He explained that the government had taken the livestock mandi and quarantine fees, which had resulted in higher expenses and a decrease in the competitiveness of exportable commodities.
Pakistan exports meat and meat preparations to the Middle East markets by air, accounting for 98 percent of total exports. According to him, beef accounts for 95 percent of overall exports, with Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan posing the most significant challenges for Pakistani exporters.
Increasing costs of numerous food goods from the start of Covid-19, as well as regular market closures from February/March 2020 to the present, according to Mr. Butt, have kept customers’ purchasing power in check. He went on to say that even in Pakistan, many consumers cannot afford to purchase expensive mutton and beef.
The official numbers published in the Pakistan Economic Survey (PES) FY21 claiming rising livestock production did not satisfy him, and he said that, instead of increasing, livestock production has been declining for the last three years, rather than demonstrating any development.
PES estimates that cow, buffalo, and goat production would total 51.5 million head, 42.4 million head, and 80.3 million head in FY21, compared to 47.8 million head, 40 million head, and 76.1 million head in FY19. Compared to FY19, beef and mutton output increased to 2,380,000 and 765,000 tonnes respectively in FY21, up from 2,227,000 and 732,000 tonnes respectively in FY19.
It was argued by the author that goat farmers have been pushed back by high meat prices over the last three years and that large animal growers have also been hesitant to invest in livestock farming over the last 1.5 years, due to the lack of demand triggered by high meat prices and an inflationary trend in the overall food price.