Since the Idul Fitri Holiday was celebrated this past week, let’s talk a little bit about it as it is one of the most important Muslim holidays in the World and it is directly correlated with the seasonality of meat prices in Indonesia.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims must refrain from smoking, eating, drinking and having sex from before dawn until dusk. After spending the day (from dawn until dusk) without eating and drinking, it is a tradition for the Muslim people to gather and break their fast together, as a community. They break their fast at the time of the call to prayer for the evening prayer and many believe that feeding someone as a form of charity is very rewarding.
Image 1. People break fasting together in Indonesia
If you live in Jakarta, you will see that during the fasting month, traffic is absolutely crazy from 3pm until 6pm, when everyone is trying to get somewhere to break their fasting together. There will be invitations and VIP events for break fasting during most of the days during the Ramadan month. As you can imagine, meat is served during these events, so the demand and meat prices increase significantly during this period of the year.
At the end of Ramadan fasting month, Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr literally means "Celebration of the end of the fast". It is celebrated on the first day of the month of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.
Each region has its traditional foods to celebrate Lebaran and one of the main dishes will be comprised of meat. Since people earn their THR at that time, that means they have more money to buy food for the celebration. THR allowance is a mandatory allowance for workers in Indonesia to celebrate religious holiday. This unique allowance is short for Tunjangan Hari Raya Keagamaan which can be loosely translated as “Religious Holiday Allowance”. This also means that butchers will increase the price of meat at that time, roughly 30% from the yearly average, due to the high demand. Lebaran is a great time for sellers in the traditional food market (Pasar in Indonesian), where most food prices go up due to the high demand for food for big family meals, while many upper class people also help the less fortunate by donating baskets of food.
Below is a graph showing the increase in meat consumption in the first and third most populated cities in Indonesia, Jakarta and Medan, respectively, during festive dates.
We are still learning and collecting data about how the demand works during this festive season and we target to sell a good amount of cattle during the Ramadan and the festive dates following Idul Fitri in the next few years.