China, the biggest consumer of pork, has boosted beef and other meat imports as consumers seek alternatives following the deadly swine disease that’s killed millions of pigs.
Indian shipments of buffalo meat and offal to China via Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Hong Kong, has slumped 23 per cent from a year earlier to 14,645 containers this year to October, according to data compiled by the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association. Government figures showed exports to Vietnam, India’s biggest buyer, dropped 34 per cent to 202,873 tons in the six months ended in September.
Exporters want to boost sales to Indonesia to 300,000 tons a year from 80,000 tons now, said Fauzan Alavi, vice president of the association. The group has been pushing for the government to talk to Indonesia to get the import quota increased, he said, adding that the association was expecting a positive outcome soon. India has also requested that China lift its ban on imports, Alavi said.
The association has also been pressing the Indian government to cut export taxes on raw hides to remain competitive in the global market.
The processors are struggling to sell raw hides despite a reduction in India’s export duty to 40 per cent in July from 60 per cent, Alavi said. Australia, the U.S. and Canada have zero export duties, while there’s just a 9 per cent tax in Brazil, he said.
The duty removal is crucial for the survival of the industry at a time when most tanneries are shut and some are working at lower capacities, said Alavi, who’s also a director with Allanasons Pvt., India’s biggest buffalo meat exporter.
“Even if China takes time to allow imports from India, higher sales to Indonesia and a cut in raw hide duties will keep us afloat,” Alavi said in an interview.