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Mongolian herders face record-low meat price due to tough winter

Staff writer ▼ | December 24, 2015
For 146,000 Mongolian herder families, the winter has become increasingly tough, not only because of the low temperatures and deep snow, but also because of the resulting record-low meat price.
Mongolian herders
Mongolia   The winter has become increasingly tough
According to the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency, 90 percent of the country's land surface has been covered with heavy snow six to 40 cm deep. Meanwhile, temperatures in some regions have plummeted below minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Tough cold has threatened the 56.2 million livestock the Mongolian herders have raised. The rearing of livestock, including cattle, horses, sheep, goats and camels, has traditionally been the only means of livelihood for the people of the landlocked nation.

The severe winter has also made the country's meat price slump to a record low. Herders wishing to make more money have slaughtered more livestock to sell meat in major cities and thus increased the supplies, leading the price to drop to the unexpected low.

The beef price in the market is around 4000 tugrik, or $2 per kg, and 1 kg of mutton costs 3500 tugrik or 1.7 U.S. dollars, both lower than in the same period last year.

The Mongolian government predicted that the situation would further deteriorate soon and has begun to take action, including the allocation of 150 to 250 million tugrik ($75,000 to $125,000) to help the 21 affected rural provinces.