Live Chickens Return to HK Markets; High Prices Set to Linger22 April 2014
HONG KONG - Poultry will remain expensive until early next month - even as sales of local live chickens resumed yesterday (Monday, 21 April).
The Standard reports that the Hong Kong and Kowloon Poultry Dealers and Workers Association called off a one-week sales boycott in which about 30 of the 130 live-chicken retailers joined in protest at soaring wholesale prices.
Association vice chairman Ma Ping- lung said that since the supply of live chickens remains unsteady, prices will stay high until around 10 May.
Mr Ping-lung, a poultry stall operator at Ngau Chi Wan wet market, said: "In the coming two to three weeks, there will still be a shortage of live chicken supply in local wet markets. Live poultry prices will only start falling when the chicks grow and are ready for sale in markets on and after 10 May."
Wholesale prices range between HK$38 and HK$41 per catty, while retail prices range from HK$60 to HK$66 per catty. There is a ban on live chickens from the mainland because of bird flu.
"Our campaign is aimed at letting our citizens realize that the price of live chickens is high and we strongly hope that the government can resume the importation of mainland live poultry into Hong Kong as early as possible," Mr Ping-lung said.
He also hopes traders would not inflate prices unreasonably.
"We have no plan to launch another boycott at this stage," Mr Ping-lung said.
Another poultry trading association vice chairman, Wong Yuen-tai, said due to the 21-day suspension period in place earlier, there has been no importation of live chicks from the mainland.
"Generally, it takes more than two months to grow live chicks and provide them to the market, and that explains why there will still be a shortage of live chickens in the market until early May," Mr Yuen-tai said.
At wet markets yesterday, customers had to spend about HK$230 to get a live chicken.ThePoultrySite News Desk