Red meat, domestic cattle prices on rise in Turkey despite $1.3 billion annual imports
Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) show that the country imported livestock worth more than $1.2 billion last year. It also imported red meat worth $90 million after the government eased conditions for such imports in response to a sharp increase in red meat prices.
Despite these measures, domestic cattle prices rose to 3,762 Turkish Liras ($941) in 2017, a 20.4 percent increase compared to the previous year, according to official data released on March 28. During the same period, the price for sheep (merino) increased by 15.7 percent, the price of sheep (domestic) increased by 21.2 percent, and the price of angora goats increased by 20.5 percent compared to the previous year.
The measures were taken after the price of one kilogram of beef meat hit 42.2 liras on average, even seeing over 55 liras in the biggest cities of the country.
While one kilogram beef meat was 39.08 liras at the end of 2016, it was 39.87 liras in February 2018.
A government degree in July 2017 granted import permission to the Milk and Meat Board (ESK) to import 500,000 heads of cattle, 475,000 heads of sheep and goat, 75,000 MT fresh or chilled beef and 20,000 MT frozen quarter carcass. This decision is valid until the end of 2018 for cattle, sheep, goat and beef imports, while permission for carcass meat imports was valid until the end of last year.
The ESK also signed a deal last November to sell cheaper red meat to two supermarket chains in a bid to ease rising meat prices in Turkey.