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Eid Al-Adha Festivities Overshadowed by High Livestock Costs in Egypt

June 15, 2024
Sheep standing in a field in Qesm Marsa Alam, Egypt. Photo credit: Marco Calamita / Getty Images

As Egyptians prepare to celebrate Eid al-Adha and engage in the festive activities accompanying the holiday – such as family gatherings and indulging in savory meals, particularly the traditional sacrificial meat – they are facing unprecedented challenges.

With the approaching holiday, interest in the prices of sacrificial animals in the local market has increased in parallel with other prices.

Due to the recent devaluation of the Egyptian pound, which has seen it lose nearly 70 percent of its value against the US dollar, the cost of sacrificial animals has surged to record levels.

This year, meat and livestock prices have surged by around 30 percent, reaching a little over EGP 400 (USD 8.4), compared to May last year’s highest, EGP 307 (USD 6.4) 

Sales have been low this year compared to last year, according to a livestock seller in Cairo. “We come to the market with 20 cows and end up selling three of four.”

Several factors contribute to the fluctuations in the prices of sacrificial animals and livestock. Among the most influential is the cost of feed. When feed prices rise, so do the prices of sacrificial animals. Conversely, when feed prices decline, the cost of these animals and other livestock tends to decrease.

The livestock market typically experiences a surge in sales leading up to Eid Al Adha, but this year, there is a downturn in buying and selling due to record-high inflation, leading to the prices of sacrificial animals remaining relatively stable.

Citing the decline in purchasing power caused by rising prices, the Vice President of the Butchers Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, Mustafa Wahba, noted that “demand is almost nonexistent,” as citizens have redirected their resources to other priorities like education, healthcare, and essential living expenses in the face of escalating costs.


Sheep meat prices range from EGP 160 (USD 3.3) to EGP 220 (USD 4.6) per kilogram. With an average weight of around 60 kilograms, the cost of a sheep ranges between EGP 10,000 (USD 209.9) and EGP 15,000 (USD 314.9), depending on size and quality.


The price of live goats for consumers today is approximately EGP 220 (USD 4.6) per kilogram. The price of local goats ranges between EGP 5,000 (USD 104.9) to EGP 6,000 (USD 125.9).


A cow’s meat, commonly referred to as beef, ranges between EGP 160 (USD 3.3) to EGP 170 (USD 3.5) per kilogram. With the average weight of a medium-sized cow being 350 kilograms, an average cow costs up to EGP 60,000 (USD 1,259.6).


A kilogram of camel meat costs around EGP 330 (USD 6.9). The prices for a sizable, mature camel that is older than seven years in Egypt range from EGP 20,000 (USD 419.9) to EGP 100,000 (USD 2,099.6).


The price of one kilogram of buffalo meat ranges from EGP 165 (USD 3.4) to EGP 175 (USD 3.6). The weight of a buffalo ranges between 300 to 400 kilograms, making its price range from EGP 45,000 (USD 944.2) to EGP 70,000 (USD 1,468.2).

Faced with rising costs and economic uncertainty, Egyptians are not shying away from celebrating Eid al-Adha with their families and friends.

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