The Sudan war fuels the fires of the high cost of meat in Egypt

The Sudan war fuels the fires of the high cost of meat in Egypt
The Sudan war fuels the fires of the high cost of meat in Egypt

The war in Sudan fuels the flames of high prices raging in Egypt, and pushes meat prices to huge levels, which are expected to increase in the coming weeks.
The war between the military forces in Sudan stopped the movement of commercial exchange between the two parts of the Nile Valley. The winter and summer trips, whose caravans always came loaded with Western gum, sesame, camels, goats, and foodstuffs, stopped for a northern market thirsty for all kinds of basic commodities, only to return to the south with raw sugar, medicines, and building materials.
Meat prices have skyrocketed, with an increase of 100 pounds per kilo at once, equivalent to 30% more than prevailing prices in mid-April.
Consumers did not catch their breath from the high cost of meat, after a journey of successive increases, during the past February and March, due to the increase in fodder prices and the scarcity of the dollar, so the war in Sudan came to add another nightmare of a new kind, and increase the blurring of the government’s ability to procure goods. The basic needs of the citizens, with a state of rising prices strongly, as the kilo of municipal meat increased from 260 pounds in the popular areas to 330 pounds, and in shops and medium-sized neighborhoods it increased from 280 pounds to 400 pounds, at a time when consumers’ ability to buy meat declined, at rates of 85%, according to a study. Research conducted at the end of last year.

Meat merchants express their fears of an escalation of the crisis, in light of the complete lack of meat coming from Sudan, following the outbreak of the war about a month ago.
Security was absent at the borders, and security was lost through rugged roads crossed by camels and cows that travel distances from Kordofan, Omdurman and El Fasher, about 3 thousand km, to be sold in Egyptian markets, on the course of the Nile River, from Daraw north of Aswan, Farshout in Assiut south and Bargash on the outskirts of the capital west. Nile Delta.
These markets pay about 30 thousand tons per day of meat that is slaughtered on the Egyptian borders, and transported by land in refrigerators to be sold fresh daily at the outlets of the Ministry of Supply, at a price of 165 pounds per kilogram.
Those quantities rose during the last Eid period to 70,000 tons per day, in light of the increased demand for meat, at a time when it failed to secure local resources with the reluctance of breeders to invest in a commodity highly affected by the reduction in imports, the scarcity of the dollar, and the high production inputs.
The war disrupted the arrival of 90,000 camels that come by caravans on foot, at that time of the year annually, with merchants preparing to prepare the needs of citizens for sacrifices, while work stopped at the port of Port Sudan, which transports live cows and Sudanese goats to the port of Adabiya in Suez, across the country.
Camel meat prices jumped from 180 pounds on average to 270 pounds in the famous shops in the regions of Kerdasa, Nahia and Bargash, west of Cairo, and the governorates of Sharkia, Aswan and Assiut. The price of mutton increased from 260 to 360 pounds, and a kilo of mutton doubled its prevailing price two months ago (one dollar = about 30.9 pounds).
In the data of the Mobilization and Statistics Authority issued the day before yesterday, the government records an increase in the prices of the meat and poultry group, by 83.3%, during last April, compared to the same month of 2022. The annual inflation rates recorded 31.5%, compared to 14.9% for the previous year, affected by The dominance of the prices of food and projects, especially bread, grains, meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, fruits, sugar, tea, coffee, and beverages, at a total rate of 53.8%.

Market analysts expected prices to jump at double rates, next month, with the daily increase in meat prices due to the scarcity of sources of supply, and the government’s inability to find quick alternatives in light of the growing dollar crisis, weak supply chains, and increased pressure on red meat alternatives, as it rose Poultry and fish prices by up to 25%, during the past two weeks.
Suppliers need between two and three months to bring meat from Brazil and India, and the solution to the major dilemma is that banks provide dollars to importers, while Sudanese meat comes by land on foot, or through transport vehicles, and the most important thing is that sales and purchase deals take place in Egyptian and Sudanese pounds, without the need Foreign currencies, as confirmed by Sudanese and Egyptian merchants to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed in the “Bergash” camel market.
Merchants contribute to increasing trade exchange between the two countries. They conclude, in their own way, equal deals, which the people of the Nile Valley used to implement, whose trade across the borders did not stop, decades ago, until last month.
They come with caravans of camels, cows, goats, sesame and gum, and they come back with electrical appliances, paints and medicines. The rapprochement between the military regime that overthrew the rule of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Burhan, contributed to an increase in the volume of trade exchange, which amounted to $1.4 billion in 2022, compared to $1.2 billion in 2021, at a rate of 18.2%, increasing since 2019.
Egypt benefits from an increase in the trade surplus, which tends to favor its exports by about $929 million. Official data does not monitor the value of cows, sheep and camel deals that take place in the two local currencies, except for those that take place between the official authorities and pay in dollars, so that the meat market remains reflective of a popular integration market that supports the ability of Egyptians to obtain cheap fresh meat from a neighbor who has a production capacity of 18 One million cows and 240 million acres of arable land are able to provide fodder for free, while Egyptians toil in search of scarce dollars, to buy industry inputs and meat in hard currency.
A camel trader in the Kerdasa Rabih Chita region bemoans the high prices that have afflicted the markets since the outbreak of the war in Sudan. Shtia told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: The price of a small camel, “Al-Qaoud”, weighing 250 kilograms, exceeded 40,000 pounds, rising to 52,000 pounds for the largest. The price of a camel in 2019 was about 5 thousand pounds for a saddled person and 12 thousand for a large one.


Shetia confirms that the high cost of camel meat, which is preferred by a few Egyptian families, prompted them to stop buying, after it rose from 90 pounds in 2021 to 110 in 2022, and jumped to 180 since the beginning of this year, then increased at once to 270 pounds, and is expected to rise further with The arrival of new batches of meat has stopped, and Eid al-Adha is approaching.
Butcher Mahmoud Hamza complains about the lack of revenue from selling, despite the high price, after he reduced his profits, in exchange for attracting customers who flocked around him, so he started selling 20% ​​of his weekly sales volume in the Kerdasa area, which loves camel meat.

He explained that other families outside the region flocked to their meat to escape the high cost of cows and lamb, and this group will go to boycott meat, with the high cost of all kinds of meat, the decline in the purchasing power of the pound, and the lack of income for citizens. Al-Araby Al-Jadeed watched dozens of people enter Hamza’s shop and quickly shake it off, just to see the price of a kilo of meat. The famous shop became empty of customers, and resorted to storing the meager quantities it offered in a refrigerator, for fear of stagnation in sales and high temperatures.
The Butchers Division of the Chamber of Commerce aimed, during the month of Ramadan, to increase imports of live meat from Sudan, to provide it at a reasonable price for citizens. The deputy head of the division, Haitham Abdel Basset, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the meat crisis will not be solved unless it comes from Sudan, because the people accept fresh meat, and the government will not be able to procure it in the required quantities in light of the dollar crisis, the high cost of fodder, and the inability of breeders to provided locally.
Egypt is facing a scarcity of water resources, and agricultural areas that provide food for dairy-producing or meat-producing livestock. Its impact was reflected in poultry farms reducing their production by about 60% and thousands of cow-breeding projects going out of service in the past two months.
The war raises border concerns, which prompted 50,000 Sudanese to come individually, fleeing with their lives, after they entered Egypt in groups, trading and carrying money and goods between the two countries.



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