A Damascus resident has reported that the price for one kilogram of frozen buffalo has reached 1150 SP at the Bab Srigh market, up from 150 SP before the revolution.
Imported frozen meat is not popular among Syrians because of hygiene and safety fears and a general preference for fresh, local meat.
But the dramatic rise in price of fresh meat over the last two years has meant many Syrians are now purchasing frozen meats despite their concerns.
One kilogram of lamb in Damascus is now about 2,000 SP, while one kilogram of beef is about 1,500 pounds .
Now, it seems imported frozen meat is becoming a delicacy on Syrian tables, even more so since the beginning of this year due to the rapid deterioration of the exchange rate of the Syrian Pound.
Frozen buffalo meat from India rose by 800 % in two and a half years, an inflation rate even higher than the low exchange rate of the Syrian Pound, which has seen the purchasing power of Syrian Pound depreciate by about about 600 %. The percentage price increase of Indian frozen meat therefore exceeds the decrease in purchasing power of the Syrian Pound by about 200%.
It is difficult to know exactly why there is such a large difference between the high price of meat and the devaluation of the Syrian Pound, although it is linked to the increase in fuel and transportation costs, among other things. Partly, it is due to plain greed by merchants who are competing with each other on price. A detailed study would be required to understand the whole picture.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer