Another warning against the uninterrupted rise in meat prices came from the producers’ union. Bulent Tunc, President of the Central Union of Red Meat Producers of Turkey, said that imports are made by a limited number of large enterprises and that meat prices have not fallen in the domestic market despite imports.
Tunç noted that large companies utilize imported animals in their own enterprises and that cheap meat does not reach the consumer. Claiming that the price was artificially raised in WhatsApp groups, Tunc called on the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance to conduct a tax inspection on this issue.
Speaking to EKONOMİ daily, Tunc noted that large enterprises utilize the imported animals in their own enterprises and sell the remaining part to local breeders at expensive prices, which leads to an increase in the price in the domestic market.
Calling on the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance to carry out a tax inspection on this issue, Tunc said that while the current system has made large enterprises larger, it has brought family businesses to the brink of closure.
Tunc reminded that livestock imports broke a record this year and reported that the price did not fall despite the high imports. Underlining that a significant amount of imports was made by using public resources and paying foreign currency abroad in order for consumers to access cheap meat, Tunc stated that the current import system prevents the prices from falling.
According to the information fiven by Tunc, livestock that costs TRY 120 by importers are sold to small enterprises for TRY 200. In other words, local breeders had to pay over TRY 80,000 for the livestock that costs TRY 50,000 for the importer. Approximately 800,000 cattle has arrived through imports Tunc said. And the slaughter price which was TRY 220 last week reached TRY 300.
“If people still cannot access meat despite so many imports, there is a problem,” Tunc said, adding, “The state will support and stand by small producers so that they can compete with big businesses and survive. Small businesses are being told ‘don’t do this job, get out of this business’.”
Speculation in WhatsApp groups
Suggesting that importers are doing things that will increase the price in the domestic market rather than decrease the price, Tunc noted that in this context, especially in WhatsApp groups, the market is speculated with calls like ‘do not sell your animals, the price will increase’. Tunc also stated that similar speculations were made in other groups on social media.
3,677% INCREASE IN OCTOBER
Turkey’s live animal imports this year are the largest since 2018, when they totaled USD 1.7 billion. Live animal imports, which fell to USD 700 million in 2019, USD 446.8 million in 2020 and USD 310 million in 2021, were USD 180 million in the whole of last year. According to TurkStat data, imports in the January-October period this year increased by 388.8 percent compared to the whole of last year and rose to USD 884 million 316 thousand. The rate of increase was 792 percent compared to the same period last year. In October, imports increased by 3,677 percent compared to the same period last year, from USD 4 million 153 thousand to USD 158 million 891 million.