Chicken prices plunge as production swells

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Chicken prices plunge as production swells

Nov 5, 2014-

Chicken prices in the Kathmandu valley have dropped by Rs 30 per kg over a month due to increased supplies. Chicken meat was priced at Rs 230 per kg on Wednesday, down from Rs 260 per kg last month.

A recently held meeting of the Nepal Chicken Sellers Association decided to slash prices by Rs 15 per kg. Similarly, live chicken is being sold at Rs 170 per kg, down from Rs 200 per kg earlier. Chicken prices have plunged 36 percent over the past four months. Chicken was being sold at Rs 360 per kg in July.

“Due to increased supplies from various parts of the country and steady consumption, prices have fallen,” said Jung Bahadur BC, president of the association. He added that commercial chicken farming had been spreading across the country after a brief halt in production last year due to bird flu outbreaks.

“Even farmers in the hills have been shifting to commercial poultry farming,” he said, adding that supplies had increased 25-30 percent over a week.

According to the association, chicken consumption in the valley is estimated to be 200-250 tonnes daily. Its requirement is mainly fulfilled by suppliers from Chitwan, Hetauda, Nuwakot, Thankot, Dhading, Birgunj, Kavre and a number of Tarai districts. “There is massive production of chicken in the Tarai districts these days.”

Shiva Ram KC, a poultry farmer, said that illegally imported chicks from India had also contributed to surplus production leading to a drop in prices. “Though we don’t have actual data on the amount of chicken being imported from India, there has been a rise in trade through various border points,” he said.

KC added that farmers had not been able to recover their production cost due to the massive fall in prices as feed costs have been increasing. “Prices of feed like soybean and corn are increasing, but farmers are compelled to sell their products at a very low rate as chicken meat demand has not grown,” said KC.

However, traders said prices were likely to increase in the coming months as the wedding season is arriving. “When the marriage season starts in mid-November, demand is expected to swell, and that could increase prices as well,” said Shreeya Dhakal, vice-president of the association.

Meanwhile, egg prices have also decreased to Rs 10.50 per unit from Rs 12 last month. According to traders, Chitwan is the largest egg supplier to the valley.

Published: 06-11-2014 09:20

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