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Rising egg prices, poultry meat hits Sri Lankan industry

by 5m Editor
22 January 2007, at 5:06pm

SRI LANKA - Workers entering Colombo buy their requirements of eggs at Rs 8 each, offsetting the rising cost of this consumer perishable, which retails at Rs 9 each in the outstations, where the factor of supply drops.

In November last, an egg retailed in Colombo at Rs 8, while it is likely that its price will climb by 25 to 30 cents in the next few months, Colombo wholesalers said.( Rupees 109 to a US dollar) Supermarkets sell eggs at Rs 120 per pack of 12. Backed by demand, quail eggs in packs of 10 sold at the Fort Railway Station at Rs 5.50 last week.

But, rising prices of eggs and poultry meat engulf the poultry industry in a much more complex situation, the 1,700 member All Island Poultry Association (AIPA) said.

Chicken cost Rs 240 per kilo in Colombo's open market and Rs 250 to Rs 260 in the suburbs and beyond, the trade said. AIPA said that the consumer cannot afford to buy dressed chicken at that high price.

Complying with security demand, marine fish production dropped 43 percent in the past year, unconfirmed reports claim. The drop in fish production has consistently been linked to a surge in the price of eggs, but, AIPA again, differs.

AIPA chairman, Dr D D Wanasinghe said that the rising cost of living does not permit the average consumer to purchase chicken and eggs, and this weighs down the poultry industry and prevents its expansion. Other factors include the rising price of feed and the tax structure the industry has to contend.

AIPA will, in its latest demand shortly, call for a reduction of cess on imports of maize (which make up 50 percent of poultry feed) from 15 to 10 percent.

Source: The Sunday Observer

5m Editor