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Increased Production Pushes Poultry Prices Down

by 5m Editor
25 July 2008, at 10:33am

NEPAL - Despite fluctuations in imports of parent chicks in recent months, a rise in production has pushed the prices of poultry products down.

The entrepreneurs said that an overall increase in parent chick imports a few months back had spurred the production of broiler chicks across the country, resulting in the sufficient supplies in the market and brought the skyrocketing prices down.

According to Hamropalo, the market witnessed a shortage in the Fiscal Year 2006/07 as a result of crunch of chicks in poultry farms. The price of broiler chicken meat, the most widely used meat, has slid down to Nepal ruppes (NPR)120 per kilogramme from a record high of NPR180 of a couple of months back. The price of eggs also went down to NPR140 per crate (30 pieces) from NPR180.

According to Dr Til Chandra Bhattrai, a poultry researcher, the number of parent chicks imported stood at 45.4 million during fiscal year 2007/08 that ended last week, up from 27.8 million a year earlier. Production of broiler chicken also shot up by almost the same proportion to 42.9 million last year. A year before that, production stood at 28. Similarly, production of layers went up to 4.4 million in the last fiscal year from 2.72 million recorded the year before that.

Poultry production saw ups and downs due to fluctuations in imports of parent chicks from overseas countries, including Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, France and the Netherlands after imports from India - the major supplier in the past - were restricted due to threats of bird flu.

"Surge in production without corresponding rise in demand was the major cause behind the sharp decline in the prices of poultry products," said Dr Bhattrai, who is also the managing director of Nepal's leading poultry producer, Pancharatna Group.

Problems in arranging imports according to the international flight schedules is also resulting in inconsistency in imports as chicks are highly perishable and need to be reach their destination within 72 hours, added Dr Bhattrai who also heads the World Poultry Science Association - Nepal, a group of Nepali poultry researchers.

Nepali poultry farms produce around 800,000 chicks per week. Outlining the future price trends of poultry products, Dr Bhattarai predicts the price decline to continue until the end of August.

"The current price decline trend of poultry products will gradually decelerate till next month, as production is likely to further decline," Dr Bhattrai said.

From mid-June to mid-July, around 3.34 million broiler chicks were produced. However, he estimated that broiler chick production will go up to 5.3 million from mid-August to mid-October from 2.5 million during mid-July to mid-September.

Production of layers has been recorded 153,000 in mid-June to mid-July. He said production would continue to shoot up till mid-August to mid-September when the number is expected to reach 394,000.

5m Editor