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Why Is Oxtail So Expensive – Top 10 Reasons

Why Is Oxtail So Expensive?

In recent times, the price of oxtail has witnessed a huge increase perhaps due to the increasing demand for oxtails thus resulting in limited market availability of the product.

This article provides an exclusive information on the reasons why oxtail is so expensive now, the health benefits of oxtail, and the animal that oxtail comes from, among other relevant information about oxtail.

Why Is Oxtail So Expensive?

Oxtails are so expensive because it makes up a very small portion of the cow’s body; being the animal that produces oxtail hence, resulting in limited availability which doesn’t meet up with the increasing market demands of the product globally.

In addition, oxtail preparation requires a lot of time and resources which is also another reason why oxtail is so expensive.

Without much ado, let’s discuss in detail the reasons why oxtails are so expensive.

1. High Cost of Production

Oxtails are of different qualities and quantity which largely depends on the diet of the cattle.

The higher the quality of oxtail meat, the higher the market prices, and vice versa.

This reason, therefore, makes the farmers ensure that their cattle are well-fed so that they’ll produce rich and quality meat when harvested.

On the other hand, cattle rearing is labor and capital-intensive if you desire to harvest quality oxtail.

Hence, the cost of labor and other running costs incurred during rearing the cattle are all included when selling the harvested oxtail which contributes to the increase in the price of oxtails.

2. Oxtails Makes Up A Small Portion of Cattle

Oxtail is simply referred to as the tails of cows which make up a very small portion of the entire body of the cattle.

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In fact, most oxtails weigh a maximum of seven pounds, which can be just enough for a single dish.

On the other hand, oxtails are not entirely meat depending on the quality of the oxtail.

However, a larger percentage of it could consist of skin and bones thus reducing the essential part of the oxtail.

Thus, oxtails represent a small portion of the cattle’s body composition which cannot meet the increasing demand for the product, hence responsible for the exorbitant price of oxtails.

3. Sudden Upsurge In The Demand for Oxtails

Previously, oxtail was not considered a relevant part of beef meat until recently.

The sudden upsurge in the demand for oxtails globally without a corresponding availability of the product contributed to the hike in the price of the commodity.

4. Saturation of Low-Quality Oxtails In The Market

Due to the sudden upsurge in the demand for oxtails globally, a lot of farmers started producing low-quality oxtails which have saturated the market thus making the high-quality oxtails scarce.

Due to how scarce the high-quality oxtails are, it, therefore, made the scarce high-quality oxtails very costly.

5. Some Oxtails Are Better Than Others

Generally, oxtails are expensive but it’s common to see some oxtails more costly than others due to their different qualities.

When an oxtail is referred to as high-quality oxtail, it means that the oxtail is rich in meat and large which is a result of the diet of cattle.

Naturally, more suppliers will be fighting over these high-quality oxtails, and with more interested buyers comes the prospect of bigger profits.

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To that effect, farmers can increase the price of the oxtails and sell them to the highest bidder, who then inflates the price of oxtails for consumers, thus resulting in a geometric increase in the price of oxtails.

6. Butchering Oxtail Takes Skill

Carving out oxtail meat takes extra skill and effort and only a few butchers have the skill to properly carve out oxtail from the cattle.

Therefore, the few available butchers who are skilled in carving out oxtail are in high demand and they also demand higher salaries.

When the cost incurred in paying these butchers is included in the selling price of oxtail, it results in an increase in price.

7. Oxtail Is Shipped In Refrigerated Containers

Naturally, oxtails are rare, hence a lot of precautionary measures are taken to ensure they arrive at their destination fresh and safely.

Hence, this can only be done by transporting oxtails in refrigerated containers.

When the cost of the refrigerated containers used to package the oxtails are included in the selling price of the commodity, it, therefore, increases the prices of oxtails in the market.

8. Oxtails Take A Lot Of Time To Cook

Oxtails need to be cooked for at least two hours.

However, producing the best-tasting meat and marrow normally extends the process to three hours.

Also, even when oxtails are cooked with only a few basic ingredients, the extended cooking time increases the resources and effort necessary to produce a single oxtail dish.

These factors are responsible for the increase in the price of oxtails.

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9. Oxtails Are Not Sold In Bulk

Almost all the parts of cattle meat are sold in bulk but oxtails are an exception to this because of its rare nature resulting in limited availability.

Oxtails are sold in pounds, so customers pay for each pound they buy.

Since customers can’t buy in bulk, there’s always a limited supply available thus resulting in an increase in price.

10. Nutritional Content

Oxtail is considered the most nutritional part of cattle meat.

Oxtail meat contains solid fats and protein required for weight reduction.

Additionally, oxtail is rich in collagen and keratin which helps skin, hair, and bones stay solid.

The above nutritional contents of oxtail contribute to its increasing demand and price.

What Animal Does Oxtail Come From?

Oxtail comes from cattle.

Oxtail is the tail of the cattle.

Is Oxtail Healthy To Eat?

Yes.  Oxtail is very healthy to eat as its rich in many food nutrients.

Oxtail meat contains solid fats and protein required for weight reduction.

Also, oxtail is rich in collagen and keratin which helps skin, hair, and bones stay solid.

What Is The Going Price For Oxtails?

The going price for oxtail is $12.98 in approximation.


Oxtail is the tail of the cattle and its rich in food nutrients such as fats, protein, keratin, and collagen.

In recent times, the demand for oxtail has experienced an upsurge without a corresponding availability due to the scarcity of the product.

The increased demand for oxtail meat without a corresponding availability of the product is the major reason why oxtail is so expensive.

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