Heat-Wave Hits Poultry Sales04 August 2011
TURKEY - Even the approach of Ramadan has not brightened the prospects for the poultry industry: a recent heat-wave has caused high mortality and political unrest in neighbouring countries has hit exports.
Even the arrival of the month of Ramadan has not improved Turkey's poultry market, with no hike in demand despite lower prices and supplies being hampered as the animals perish in hot temperatures, a sector representative has said.
Hurriyet Daily News reports that, in previous years, poultry sales doubled during Ramadan but excessively hot temperatures have had a negative effect on consumption and production, Necmettin Çaliskan, the general coordinator of Beyza Piliç, a Turkish poultry company, said in a recent interview. Due to high summer temperatures, chickens perish before they weigh 2.5kg, which is the legal weight limit to cull the animal set by the industry representatives.
Chicken meat consumption has fallen due to meat imports, according to Mr Çaliskan, adding that their only hope had been the month of Ramadan but sales had not increased.
The Turkish poultry sector is a leader regarding production hygiene and quality, compared to other rival countries. The sector had just started recovering from the effects of the 2008 global crisis, however, high temperatures started affecting the sector negatively, Mr Çaliskan said, adding that the demand for chicken has also decreased due to the season's temperature.
He said: "In previous years, Ramadan was a feast for the poultry sector. People preferred healthy white meat to red meat in their fast-breaking meals."
This year's consumers however said they are disturbed by the smell of chicken meat in the heat and prefer to eat vegetables.
Temperatures above 40 degrees are dangerous for the animals, according to Mr Çaliskan.
He explained: "Chickens must reach a weight of 2.5 kilos to be culled but they perish before gaining this weight because of the hot weather."
The supply has decreased due to high temperatures and providers are now careful at least not to offer low quality, he added.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, about 10 to 15 per cent of chicken meat produced in Turkey is exported but the sector has had concerns in exports too, said the poultry sector worker. Turmoil in Syria has negatively affected exports, leaving exporters in a bad situation.