Middle Eastern wars hit Moldovan lamb export sales

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Moldovan farmers have appealed to the government to look for more lamb markets
Moldovan farmers have appealed to the government to look for more lamb markets

Related tags Livestock Middle east Moldova Lamb

Moldovan lamb exports have suffered as a result of armed conflicts in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, according to a report from the association of sheep and goat breeders in the country.

The report claims the total population of sheep and goats in Moldova is close to 700,000, generating 3,000 tonnes (t) of meat for export. According to local farmers this year exports nearly dried up, while supplies into the domestic market remained loss-making. 

“A few days ago we had negotiations with representatives of a business from one Arabian country,”​ commented the head of the association of sheep and goat breeders Pintilie Plugaru. “They were willing to pay MDL 21 (US$ 1.07) per kilogram of meat – too little. 

“Others say that they can not carry out the import of animals due to the armed conflicts. Their buyers are afraid that they will pay money, and won’t get any products.”

Zero profitability

At the same time the price of the meat for one sheep on the domestic market ranges from MDL 800 – 1,000 (US$ 40.08 – 51.08). This gives manufacturers zero profitability, as the production cost per sheep is close to the same figures. 

“Previously, we supplied almost all our production of 100t-200t of lamb to Arab countries, primarily Iraq and Yemen, where we had long-term contracts. This year this was suspended. We assume that this is connected with the instability in these countries in recent years. 

“The price on the domestic market is at least 40-50% less than for export, so it is senseless to sell it to domestic consumers,”​ said Alexandr Miringua, the head of a sheep breeding company from the Baltic region.

New markets

According to local farmers’ estimates, last year Middle East countries accounted for 2,400t of Moldovan lamb – about 80% of total supplies. Farmers have now appealed to the government, which promised to look for new lamb markets. 

“We are already negotiating with Egyptians importers,”​ said Moldova’s agriculture minister Ion Sule. “We know they love lamb. The Ministry of Economy together with the Ministry of Agriculture has already started negotiating a free trade agreement with that country, which will let breeders launch exports of some meat products.”​ 

Farmers are also reportedly aiming to bring their products to some Caucasian countries, such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, where there is steady high demand for lamb products. Previously, Moldovan farmers supplied the local market, but only in small quantities.

Related topics Meat

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