Monday,23 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1261, (3 - 9 September 2015)
Monday,23 July, 2018
Issue 1261, (3 - 9 September 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Meat boycott continues

Meat prices
Meat prices
Al-Ahram Weekly

EGYPT’S meat boycott in protest at rising prices has seen some success in many parts of the country.

A social media campaign to boycott meat, launched two weeks ago under the title “forget about meat”, has succeeded in many places in Egypt with large numbers of people stopping buying meat in protest at skyrocketing prices over the last few weeks.

Although many people have stopped buying meat because of their inability to pay for the expensive product, the decreased number of consumers in some neighbourhoods has been an indication of the campaign’s success.

Many traders in the Zamalek and Sheikh Zayed districts of Cairo have admitted there are fewer customers despite the fact that prices have fallen by LE10. One worker in a supermarket selling meat in Sheikh Zayed told Al-Ahram Weekly that there had been a noticeable decline in the number of meat customers and that they had to supply smaller quantities.

“Sales are definitely not the same as they were before the boycott, but they are still ok,” he said.

Prices have gone down by about LE15 in some places, mostly in governorates other than Cairo and Giza where there are lower costs of living. Surprisingly, prices have slightly gone up in other areas.

A butcher in the Dokki district of Cairo said that the cattle breeders who supply him with meat were responsible for the increase, which does not make sense in the middle of a boycott campaign and with fewer customers. Prior to the campaign, which started in the Aswan governorate, local beef was priced at between LE75 and LE110 per kg, depending on the place where it was being sold.

According to Al-Ahram’s Arabic news portal, representatives of butchers agreed on Sunday in a meeting with Aswan governor Mustafa Yousri to price local beef at LE65 instead of LE75 per kg, after they had suffered from a lack of customers because the boycott is strict in Aswan.

What has helped the boycott campaign succeed to some extent is the fact that large quantities of imported meat are available in government outlets at prices ranging from LE50 to LE60 per kg.

As a result of consumers’ staying away from meat, demand for poultry and fish has been rising and prices have increased. A kilo of live or frozen poultry has increased by about 15 to 20 per cent, being sold at LE20 to LE30. Fish prices have also gone up by about 10 per cent.  

However, meat traders believe that any drop in prices will disappear by next week as the Eid Al-Adha feast approaches. The Eid Al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice, traditionally sees increased demand for meat as Egyptians rush to buy livestock for slaughtering.

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