The biggest market for Indian buffalo meat, at Rs 13,125 crore, was Vietnam in 2015-16. Malaysia (Rs 2,683 cr) was a distant second, followed by Egypt (Rs 2,326 cr), Saudi Arabia (Rs 1,416 cr) and Iraq (Rs 767 cr).
However, Vietnam by itself does not have the capacity to absorb this value (just under half the total) and quantity (over 6 lakh tonnes, or 46% of the total) of buffalo meat exports — and the bulk of the consignments to that country are said to make their way eventually to China
The buffalo meat exported by India is mostly raw, de-boned chunks, used primarily in the processed and canned food industry. Very little makes its way to kitchens for direct consumption by individuals. This is because carabeef is tougher, and is hence considered inferior to cow meat; for this reason, it also fetches a discount to regular beef in the world market. Thus, the average free-on-board price of buffalo meat exported from India in 2014-15 was $ 3,240 (about Rs 2.1 lakh) per tonne, whereas the corresponding unit value for chilled and frozen beef cuts from Brazil was $ 4,515 (more than Rs 2.9 lakh).