(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) With Eid Al Adha drawing closer, the prices of commodities have been increasing day by day despite assurance from the Ministry of Economy that markets are under close watch.
In fact, the annual race for hiking of livestock prices has already begun with traders in Fujairah markets hiking prices as would be the case in other markets in the country.
Unscrupulous traders jack up the prices of sacrificial animals ahead of the event, despite strict measures taken by the Ministry.
Sheep prices rose by 10 per cent, according to sources at the Fujairah livestock market, and the hike will shoot up to as much as about 60 per cent before Haj. It will continue until the end of day of Eid Al Adha. The prices of goats and local and Iranian rams are also going up.
"Two weeks ago, the price of a small Somali sheep weighing about 10kg ranged from Dh400 to Dh500, and now it has shot up to Dh600," said Habib Mohammed, livestock seller at the market.
Habib said the price of the Australian sheep varies from Dh800 to Dh1,200 depending on its weight, while the Iranian goat weighing about 7kg reaches Dh350. The Iranian goat which weighs from 10kg to 12kg is sold at Dh500, while a goat that weighs between 15kg and 18kg starts from Dh800.
He said the cost of locally-bred sheep starts from Dh700 and can go up to Dh1,500.
"I have come along with relatives to buy sheep for a special feast we are intending to hold, but unfortunately we found the prices very high though there is almost three weeks left for Eid Al Adha," Saeed Khalfan, an Emirati said. He added that the goats and sheep displayed are skinny.
"The prices are expected to go up again," he added. "The Ministry has chalked out a full-fledged plan ahead of Eid Al Adha focusing mainly on sheep and livestock markets countrywide, as well as vegetables, fruits and food products markets, Director of the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, Dr Hashim Al Nuami said.
All markets are under control, and the Ministry will keep close watch. He, however, said the available reports confirm that the prices of items are stable.
The markets generally, and livestock in particular, are subject to strict monitoring, he reiterated.
In the market, prices of local and imported red meat are clearly varied, especially in big and small butcher shops with a difference ranging from Dh3 to Dh 9 per kilogram.
The price of imported Australian sheep ranged from Dh34 per kg to Dh41.9 per kg, while the price of Australian mutton without bones ranged from Dh56 to Dh62.90 per kg.
"The price of meat is continuously increasing. This month the price of Pakistani mutton ranged from Dh33 to Dh34 per kg compared to Dh26 to Dh28 last month, and without bargain, said Lubna Abdullah, housewife.
She said she is afraid that the price of meat will keep going up with Eid Al Adha drawing near. She, however, said she would stock meat much before Eid, so that she gets it at a good price.
An owner of a butchery, which sees a big rush of customers, said the meat prices during this period of the year are relatively constant compared to previous periods. He however expected a price hike closer to Eid.
"The meat of the Australian calf is at present at Dh40 per kg and closer to Eid the price will go up by say 10 to 20 per cent," he said.
The price of fruits and vegetables in the Fujairah market has shown an upward trend due to the acute shortage and rise in the price of fish. The price of one kilogram of Al Sheri fish increased to Dh55 and Dh60, from Dh30 to 35 recently.
The price of one kilogram of Kanad fish stood at between Dh65 and 70 while its price used to range from Dh40 and Dh50 per kilogram.