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Prices of Chicken Products on the Up in Qatar

by 5m Editor
18 May 2009, at 7:39am

QATAR - Poultry products prices have risen recently, a development blamed on consumers in Europe fearful of H1N1 flu, as well as other food price increases.

Poultry products are becoming expensive in Qatar due to increased demand in swine flu-scared Europe and the prices of essentials like edible oil, milk and lentils are also rising, importers told The Peninsula of Qatar.

"You may find chicken and eggs dearer in the days to come due to the changing consumer patterns globally," says an official of a major food importing company, underlining the need to augment local poultry and agriculture production to achieve at least partial self-sufficiency.

The outbreak of swine flu has led people in Europe to shun eating pork and turn rather en masse to poultry products, so increased demand is putting undue pressure on the pricing of poultry products, said Mahmood Al Quswani from a foodstuff importing firm.

On the other hand, harvest-related woes in Malaysia, which is one of the largest world producers of palm oil, have triggered a crisis as far as edible oil is concerned. So the prices of this basic food product are also looking up.

Other essentials like lentils and milk are becoming expensive and the reasons are rooted in the global demand and supply situations, Mr Al Quswani told Al Sharq in an interview.

There is growing tension between big retailers and importers of basic food items in the local market over margins and it is natural for the latter to eventually pass on the burden to the end user, the hapless consumer.

"This is one of the additional reasons of the price rise here as far as essentials are concerned," the official maintained. Transport costs are also going up.

According to Mr Al Quswani, an effective way to prevent fluctuating global demand and supply situations adversely impacting the pricing and supplies of basic food items locally is to have more poultry and agricultural farms.

"We need to put more investment in local food production and that’s the only way we can remain less affected by global shortages," he told The Peninsula.