With less than a fortnight before the celebration of the festival of Eid El-Adha, the warning signs of a considerable increase in the price of sheep are indisputable. It is an open secret, several breeders had announced that the prices of sheep this year would experience a significant increase.
They had even made it the norm in view of a fatal season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the ritual of sacrifice on the occasion of Eid El Adha, is likely to be uncertain for many Moroccans this year. Indeed, fear for many households of being forced to break with this ancestral tradition, with regard to the price of the animal compared to previous years which for the time being is beyond the reach of small and medium purses.
For these families, the acquisition of the sheep is almost impossible even with a possible recourse to debt (credit, loan and others) which could not solve this problem. In the souks and dedicated markets, animals (sheep and goats) are available but not in abundance, so their price remains very high (increase, estimated at least 50%) to the great damage of buyers. The “kessaba” are justified by arguing that the offer intended for slaughter for Eid El-Adha is not abundant as before, it is difficult to upgrade from past years. If one relies on the figures of the Interprofessional Federation of Red Meats (FIVIAR) and the National Sheep and Goat Association (ANOC), no less than 5.8 million heads of sheep and goats will be put on the market as part of the preparations for Eid El-Adha. They also explain this rise in prices, the high cost of living obliges, particularly by that of livestock feed which has also sharply climbed on the official and also parallel markets The prices of fodder ranging from (2 to 3.5 DH / corn, straw, alfalfa, wheat and wheat bran as well as soybeans and soybean hulls).
Hence the prices of sheep which vary this year at a minimum, between 1700 and 6000 and more, depending on the breed. We then understand in the face of the lack of enthusiasm why customers are scarce. And the situation is likely to stay that way. Moreover, many sellers have not deigned to put their cattle up for sale, refraining from doing so while waiting to see them come. Some of the “kessabas” attribute this timid launch of the sale of sheep to the sole fact that the prices are considered very high by the population, hence the lack of enthusiasm. There remains a hope that the supply of sheep and goats intended for slaughter for Eid Al-Adha, which as soon as it is completed that of the herds of the Atlas areas, in particular the Timahdite breed (sheep ) and other regions may regulate a market in the days to come.
Another paradox is the drought factor, which normally contributes to a fall in prices, cannot be triggered as a reason with regard to the pluviometric largesse which Mother Nature has given us. Prices should vary by breed and region with an average increase of 50% per animal as the ritual of sacrifice approaches. Currently, the selling price is set at around 50 DH / kg, according to the breeders who rely heavily on the return of MRE unlike last year. However, the market is far from being stabilized between an overall correct supply thanks to the mild weather conditions, but the rise in prices from the outset distorts the calculation of demand which is rather linked to the purchasing power of households, and which is still feeling the repercussions of Lady Covid.