Sales at Saudi livestock markets doubled during Eid al-Adha, as prices rose 20 percent due to the increase in animal feed and import costs, workers told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Saudi Arabia consumes about 3.5 million sheep annually.
Abdul Rahman al-Farij, owner of al-Najd Livestock for Agriculture Development, told Asharq Al-Awsat that livestock prices saw a 15 to 20 percent increase this year, noting that prices vary according to demand.
Livestock dealer Ibrahim al-Aliwa said that sacrifice rituals are increasing every year, adding that demand increases on certain types of sheep, like Noaimi and Najdi, with an average price of $53 per animal.
For his part, Mutaib al-Subaie reported that Sudan and Jordan are Saudi Arabia’s top livestock importers, noting that the demand is remarkable for al-Noaimi, of an average price of $386.
Asharq Al-Awsat toured several markets, and top sellers and marketers in Riyadh implemented strict precautionary and preventive measures against the COVID-19 disease.
Saudi markets witnessed imports of various sheep, notably from Romania, Spain, and Georgia, with prices varying between $240 and $320.
Small size sacrifices were the least in demand, with average prices ranging between $140 and $160.
This year, local Saudi markets witnessed the sale of other types of livestock, which are permissible according to the Sharia, with an average price for imported calves reaching $933.
Muflih al-Tabki, the auctioneer in the livestock market in Madina, reported high demand for camel purchases for the sacrifice ritual.
Livestock investor Salim al-Zughaibi told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the increase in livestock prices is estimated at 20 percent.