Print Edition - 2015-02-25 | MONEY
Chicken prices swell on reduced supplies
Feb 24, 2015-
Chicken prices in the Kathmandu valley jumped Rs 15 per kg to Rs 350 per kg over the past week due to a drop in supplies. The popular poultry product has increased in price by 40 percent in the last one and a half months. Chicken cost Rs 250 per kg on January 6.
Procurement prices of live birds have also increased to Rs 270 per kg, up from Rs 250. The Nepal Chicken Sellers Association (NCSA), which fixes prices by checking supply and demand, set the new rate effective from Wednesday citing a decline in production.
“Within a month, the supply has dropped by 30 percent. So we have no option but to raise prices,” said Jung Bahadur BC, president of the NCSA. He added that farmers were unable to meet demand across the country. “Many farmers had started losing interest in raising chicken a few months ago due to the low returns,” said BC. He added that load-shedding and a shortage of LPG had also affected chicken output.
In addition, increased demand from party palaces with the onset of the marriage season also contributed to the rise in prices, said traders. There has been a significant fall in shipments from major bulk suppliers in Chitwan, Kavre, Bhaktapur, Bara, Parsa, Birgunj, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok, Dhading and Janakpur, according to the NCSA. The daily requirement of chicken in the valley stands at 250-300 tonnes.
Meanwhile, chicken prices have been climbing in Pokhara, Chitwan, Nepalgunj and other cities due to reduced output.
“Some districts have been seeing a severe shortage of chicken as less than 25 percent of their total requirement is being fulfilled,” said Shiva Ram KC, president of the Nepal Egg Producers Association.
“Until last month, poultry farmers were suffering losses as they were not breaking even due to low demand. Now they are not able to meet demand.”
Traders said that prices were unlikely go down soon as farmers in the Tarai will be busy celebrating the Holi festival and poultry consumption also increases during the season. Meanwhile, the price of eggs has remained stable at Rs 310 per crate.
Published: 25-02-2015 07:48