India’s buffalo meat exports have fallen 9 per cent as major importer China is not importing directly from India, which makes shipments go via Vietnam or the Philippines, making it costlier. The industry has complained that it has not been given the kind of incentives that other exports get, making things difficult for buffalo meat exports, which amounted to Rs 25,091 crore in the last fiscal.
China had stopped buying Indian meat on fear of the foot and mouth disease a few years ago. Exporters said the devaluation of currencies of Brazil and Argentina had also made Indian supplies less competitive.
“Direct market access to China is extremely crucial for us, considering it alone has the potential to buy the entire Rs 25,000 crore worth of bovine meat. The Indian government has been pushing for it till last week and we are hopeful of a positive outcome,” said Fauzan Alavi, director at India’s largest exporter of buffalo meat, Allanasons to the media.
Alavi said the government should help Indian companies get access to the retail market in Iran and Philippines where they were currently allowed to export only to processors. Exporters said they were not operating at full capacity in recent years as they were regularly losing customers to Brazil, Argentina and Australian buffalo meat exporters.
There is uncertainty in the buffalo meat export from India. China was a bulk consumer a few years ago and there was a safety net for the industry in terms of consistent volume of trade New markets which have grown with demands for Indian buffalo meat are Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt. The weak rupee to the dollar, would have benefited the exports, but Brazil’s Rial and Argentina’s Peso are much more depreciated and hence have an export advantage,” said Priya Sud, partner in Al-Noor Exports to PTI.