Mongolian Mutton Prices Surge on Higher Gas Prices, Says

The price of Mongolian mutton, the nation’s staple food, rose 5.9 percent this month because of increased gasoline costs, news website reported.

Mutton prices have risen to 6,614-6,800 tugrik ($4.75-4.89) a kilogram, the news website reported yesterday, citing estimates from Jan. 2 that it didn’t attribute. The price of a liter of gasoline has reached 1,670 tugrik, an increase of 50 tugrik since the end of last year, according to the report.

Mongolia’s central bank at the end of last year gave the country’s fuel importers 83 billion tugrik of loans after the companies said they may have to increase gasoline prices to as much as 2,010 tugrik, reported. As a result of the loans, gasoline prices rose by only 50 tugrik, the news website reported, citing O. Magnai, head of the Ulan Bator-based Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection.

Beef prices have risen as much as 3.1 percent, goat meat has increased 3.7 percent and horse meat has gained 0.2 percent, according to Oil traded today near the highest level in almost four months in New York.

The price increase for gasoline was “reasonable,” the report cited Magnai as saying. He was also cited as saying the cost for diesel and other fuels could see further increases.

Mongolia’s long winters, dry climate and nomadic culture have largely limited the growth of crops, which has resulted in mutton become the cornerstone of traditional meals.

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