Bangladesh Broiler Prices Shoot Up01 June 2012
BANGLADESH - A supply shortage of day-old chicks against an increased demand has become a boon for hatchery operators but came as the bane of consumers.
The Daily Star reports that prices of broiler chickens rose to Tk 180 each kilogram in the city markets in the face of soaring prices of day-old chicks needed for farming.
Hatchery operators increase prices of the day-old chicks, cashing in on a production shortfall, said poultry farmers and traders yesterday.
"The soaring prices of day-old chicks are mainly responsible for the current prices of broiler chicken. There is a shortage of supply of day-old chickens. That's why, hatcheries are increasing the prices" said Azizul Islam, who sells fresh chicks to farmers in Netrokona, a north-eastern district.
The prices of day-old broilers needed for farming stood at Tk 70-74 each, up from Tk 55-60 a month ago, said Mr Islam, also a poultry farmer.
Two wholesalers at Kaptan Bazar, a major supply centre for broilers in the city, also blamed higher costs of day-old chicks for the increased prices of broiler chicken at the consumers' end.
The increased cost of feed is another reason, said Khokon Mia, a Kaptan Bazar-based broiler chicken wholesaler.
"We have to buy at higher prices from farmers," said Abul Hossain Patwary, another wholesaler at Kaptan Bazar. He said his purchase price of broiler chicken was Tk 161 each kilogram.
Broiler chickens were sold at Tk 175-180 a kg, up 6 per cent from a week ago. The prices climbed 22 per cent from a month earlier when each kilogram of chicken was sold at Tk 140-150, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.
MM Khan, secretary of Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association (BPIA), attributed the rising prices of broiler chicken to a supply crunch of day-old chicks, resulting from the bird flu havoc in parent stock farms since early this year.
Production of day-old chicks (broiler) slumped by nearly half to 45-50 lakh a week in the past two months, said Moshiur Rahman, coordinator of Poultry Industry Protection National Committee.
Mr Khan of the BPIA said the dip in production of broiler chickens has pushed up the prices.
"It is simply a supply-demand mismatch," he said, "We have warned several times that parent stock farms are becoming the victim of bird flu."
"Unless the government takes steps to prevent the bird flu, people will leave farming," he said.
Mr Rahman said a number of hatcheries, including his one, are out of production for months after bird flu devastated their parent stock farms.
"Those operators whose hatcheries are in production are getting the increased prices," he said, adding that the prices of day-old chicks would not have gone up, had all hatcheries been in production.
"Eggs and chicken are not something that can be stocked for creating an artificial shortage to increase prices. It is a supply-demand problem," said Mr Rahman.
He demanded the government launch strict vigilance to ensure bio-security in the poultry farms. At the same time, large farms should be allowed to vaccinate birds to ensure supply of day-old chicks, said Mr Rahman.