The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has temporarily stopped importing frozen meat from Pakistan via sea after discovering fungus in a shipment. The implicated shipment, dispatched by a Karachi company, was destroyed by UAE officials, leading to the suspension of such imports until at least October 10. However, air exports remain unaffected.
Annually, Pakistan exports meat valued at approximately $144 million to the UAE. Naseeb Ahmad Saifi, a meat exporter, clarified that this isn’t a ban but a pause until Pakistani exporters adhere to the UAE’s specified shipping protocol. This protocol mandates vacuum-packing products for sea transport in refrigerated containers. The shipment with the reported fungus was wrapped in cloth, which tarnished Pakistan’s export reputation.
Pakistan produces around 4.9 million tonnes of meat annually, exporting about 2%. Major markets include Gulf Cooperation Council states and some Far East countries, with recent expansions into China, Egypt, and Indonesia.