BULAWAYO, Wednesday, November 15, 1967 — There is an acute shortage of mutton in Bulawayo. Some butchers said yesterday it was “virtually unobtainable”.
They added that because they could only buy it “for what the producer demanded”, mutton prices have gone up.
Some butchers said their prices were up by 3d a lb. Others said they had been forced to raise prices by 6d a lb.
But several butchers said there had been “no price change as far as we are concerned”. Complicating the picture is the scarcity of imported (New Zealand) mutton.
Butchers say it is very difficult to obtain allocations. Yet it is old at varying prices. A few butchers said they made no difference in prices charged for local and imported mutton.
Others said imported mutton was “naturally “the more expensive. Some said they had not had mutton in the shop “for weeks”.
One said: “Since beef prices went up there has been a terrific run on mutton. The price range varies from butchery, and from cut to cut. Roughly, it runs form 3s a lb for stewing mutton to ‘something more than 5s’ for legs and loins of imported mutton. Butchers said they had no idea of their competitors’ prices.”
They were reluctant to state-or guess-at the top price of imported mutton on offer today.
Mr WE McNair, deputy chairman of the Matabeleland Master Butchers’ Association said: “There are no set prices. Mutton is practically unobtainable. There has been no discussions or arrangements on prices. They vary from butcher to butcher. The situation is keenly competitive”.
He said the seasonal shortage of mutton had coincided with the beef shortage and the rise in beef prices.
Mr MS Turner of the Cold Storage Commission, said the CSC had not increased its price for mutton.