June 6, 2017 / 9:45 AM / 3 months ago

India's buffalo meat exports in April drop 11.4 percent

Herders work inside an enclosure for buffalos awaiting sacrifice on the eve of the sacrificial ceremony for the "Gadhimai Mela" festival in Bariyapur November 27, 2014.Navesh Chitrakar/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's buffalo meat exports in April dropped 11.4 percent from a year earlier to 86,119 tonnes, a government body said on Tuesday, as a strike by abattoirs and an appreciating rupee hit shipments.

"Abattoirs' strike in March reduced supplies. Many slaughter houses failed to operate at full capacity in April," said a Mumbai-based exporter, who declined to be named.

India is the world's biggest exporter of buffalo meat. Abattoirs and meat sellers in Uttar Pradesh, the country's top buffalo meat exporting state, went on strike in March after a crackdown on unlicensed abattoirs.

In the latest setback to the Muslim-dominated meat industry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government decreed animal markets will only be able to trade cattle for agricultural purposes such as ploughing and dairy production.

The rupee has risen more than 5 percent so far in 2017, eroding the returns of exporters.

India's basmati rice exports in April rose 15.6 percent from a year ago to 389,406 tonnes, while non-basmati rice exports fell 18.5 percent to 475,050 tonnes, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority said in a statement.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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