Mutton prices continue to go up


Meal time: A worker feeding a goat at Gombak Agro Farm in Kuala Lumpur. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

PETALING JAYA: It’s a huge part of Indian cuisine, but mutton has become more costly in the past two months due to factors such as higher costs of operations and animal feed.

“The price is increasing. Besides the cost of operations and animal feed, live goats are more expensive too,” said KLAS Farm Sdn Bhd managing director Shafie Abdul Majid.

He said that frozen mutton is now about RM38 to RM40 per kg, while fresh cuts can reach up to RM60.

Federal Territory Bumiputra Petty Traders Association president Datuk Seri Rosli Sulaiman said that local mutton was more expensive compared to imported ones due to its flavour and tender meat.

“There are many varieties of mutton in the market, some from India and some from Australia. If the mutton is from India, the price is about RM23, while Australian lamb can go up to RM33,” he said.Hafizi Hanafi, who runs a farm in Tumpat, Kelantan, said the price has been on the rise because the cost of goats has gone up.

As such, fresh-cut meat is sold at RM40 per kg, while the cheapest is between RM30 and RM35, which means that the meat is sold at a loss.

“The market price has been increasing because our cost to buy one goat is higher than what it used to be.

“For example, a female goat costs between RM300 and RM400, while a male goat costs between RM800 and RM1,500.

“Usually, people would buy male goats for breeding purposes,” said Hafizi, who has been in the business for the past decade.

Stockist Fariz Zakaria, who sells packed marinated lamb from Australia, pointed out that mutton consumption and buying trends were seasonal.

For instance, he said that there would be more orders during school holidays and festivities.

“In terms of pricing, the highest was during the movement control order when the marinated lamb was sold at RM49,” he said.

He noted that marinated lamb was now sold at RM37.90 for 550g, adding that working adults preferred this type as they would just need to grill and serve it.

“At the supermarkets, I think you can get Australian raw meat for RM45, while the frozen ones are priced at RM59.90,” he said.

The sale of mutton or lamb has remained a challenge for those in the business in view of the pricing.A report on the “Usage and Attitude Study for Mutton and Lamb in Malaysia” by the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise last year stated that mutton and lamb consumers were concentrated in the Klang Valley with an average household income of RM9,235.

The type of mutton preferred is mainly fresh or chilled, while lamb tends to be purchased frozen. On average, it said that consumers would buy fresh mutton or lamb once to twice a month, spending an average of RM55.75.

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