High prices on livestock deprive Palestinians of Eid al-Adha preparations
Palestinian markets witness sales stagnation ahead of Eid al-Adha which starts on July 9 in Palestine, as a result of the rocketing prices of goods.
For the second year in a row, Ibrahim Sabaaneh, a Ramallah-based man, was unable to buy a sheep for the feast.
"In the past, I used to buy the sheep for 200 U.S. dollars, but now it requires about 350 dollars, which is a heavy burden for me," the 47-year-old father of four complained.
The celebration of Eid al-Adha is not limited to sacrifice. There are other essential things, such as new clothes, sweets, and decorations that must be provided for the festival.
"At the current deteriorating condition, I can only provide some food and sweets to prepare my family to celebrate the festival," he explained.
Mohammed Hijawi, a Ramallah-based owner of a livestock farm, owns about 600 sheep and 150 calves.
However, he complained about the deterioration in the purchasing power of clients this year, noting that he was able to sell only 20 percent of the livestock stockpile on his farm.
In fact, the prices of sacrifices rose significantly in the West Bank, due to the high costs of fodder resulting from the Russia-Ukraine crisis, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The West Bank markets seemed empty of customers, while merchants were busy checking their goods crowded in the shops, while street vendors were trying to attract passers-by to buy from them.
Sumaia Juma'a, a Bethlehem-based woman, was only able to buy the basic needs for her family and small quantities of sweets and cakes.
The 39-year-old mother of three complained that the high prices prevented her from buying the sheep for Eid as she used to do in the past.
"Year by year, the rate of demand for sacrifices is decreasing due to the difficult economic situation as well as high prices," Mohammed Qazaat, a livestock trader told Xinhua.
About 10 years ago, he recalled that he used to import more than 1,000 calves and more than 1,500 sheep before Eid al-Adha, but now he hardly imports 150 calves and less than 50 sheep for fear of incurring heavy losses.
"Unfortunately, most of the people do not have enough money to go to the markets to buy basic needs, and this is reflected in the livestock market," he said, adding that "the deteriorating situation affects everyone, whether he is a merchant or a customer."
The Palestinian market needs about 210,000 head of cattle for sacrifice during Eid in the West Bank and Gaza, according to the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry.