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Poultry Prices Rose in First Days of Ramadan

by 5m Editor
9 September 2008, at 6:44a.m.

JORDAN - Poultry prices have risen by 20 per cent over the past few days due to what officials attribute to a rise in demand coupled with the recent heatwave, which caused the death of nearly one-third of farm-raised chickens.

MENAFN Jordan Times reports that Jordan Agricultural Engineers Association (JAEA) Deputy President Abdul Shakour Jamjoum told the newspaper on 6 September that last week's heatwave is a major factor behind the rise in poultry prices on the local market, which have increased from 2.6 dinars (JOD) over JOD3 per kilo.

"The mortality ratio in poultry farms reached 25-30 per cent because of the heat-wave, which also caused the surviving chickens to increase their water intake and eat less, leading to a loss of weight," Mr Jamjoum said.

He added that the high price of feed, which is currently sold at JOD445 per tonne, has forced around 40 per cent of small poultry farmers to abandon the business, reducing the supply of fresh chicken during Ramadan.

Mr Jamjoum noted that egg sales witnessed a slight increase in the first three days of Ramadan, followed by a 50 per cent drop, adding that egg consumption normally decreases during the holy month.

The JAEA official said he expects eggs prices to drop by at least 30 per cent later this month.

According to Hassouni Mheilan, director of market control at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, prices usually rise in local markets in the first week of every Ramadan, but then start to stabilise after wholesalers flood the market with goods to meet the expected rise in demand.

He added that a ship from China carrying around 2,000 tonnes of frozen chicken arrived in Aqaba on 3 September, which will provide consumers with a cheaper alternative to fresh chicken.

Mr Mheilan noted that the wholesale cost of frozen chicken is JOD1.75 per kilo, and it is sold to customers for JOD1.95 per kilo - JOD1 less than fresh chicken.

Furthermore, Mr Mheilan said parallel markets have succeeded in providing cheaper alternatives for citizens, noting that vegetables are 20-30 per cent cheaper than in local markets.

"A crate of tomatoes is sold for JOD1.5 at parallel markets compared to JOD3.5 in regular markets," the ministry official said, calling on citizens to avoid buying vegetables from 'greedy' traders.

He pointed out that around 125 inspectors are carrying out undercover inspections of stores to ensure compliance with the ministry's price labelling regulations, adding that during the first three days of Ramadan, inspectors found over 150 traders manipulating prices and referred them to the authorities.

Foodstuff Traders Association President, Khalil Haj Tawfiq, told The Jordan Times that sales dropped by 40 per cent during the past two weeks, adding that sales are much lower compared to Ramadan last year.

"Rising prices in general have forced citizens to be satisfied with one to two meals a day, which has hurt the sector," Mr Haj Tawfiq said, adding that the military and Civil Service Consumer Corporations have also contributed to the drop in sales by attracting some 30 per cent of customers.

Sami Arabiyyat, a member of the Jordan Armed Forces, said he saved JOD80 to spend on Ramadan needs.

"Apparently it will not be enough to last the entire month and I will have to cut some other expenses," he said, adding that since the beginning of Ramadan, chicken and meat have been present on his family's iftar table only twice.

5m Editor