Egg, Poultry Meat Markets Hit by Bird Flu Fears

MYANMAR - Local poultry markets are reported to be depressed by fears of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), and egg supplies to markets in Yangon are down.
calendar icon 16 February 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

An outbreak of the deadly H5N1 avian influenza strain at an army-run poultry farm in early February has had little impact on the market, industry sources said last week.

Myanmar Times reports that the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, under the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, announced that a number of birds at a farm located in Mayangone township, Yangon, had been infected with the strain on 6 February.

Dr Hla Hla Thein, chairman of the Broiler Association, said: "It's fair to say that the price of chicken has dropped by a small amount since before the outbreak."

She said an association decision was made to limit the amount of birds sent to market and prevent dumping, which destabilises the market and pushes prices down rapidly, leaving all producers out of pocket.

Dr Hla added: "It's a sure bet that when massive numbers of birds are put into the marketplace the prices will fall – it's just simple supply and demand."

She said the association had also urged owners of poultry farms to pay particularly close attention to the biosecurity measure in place at their farms, and make sure there was no contact between their flocks and wild birds.

Dr Hla said all trucks carrying poultry, or eggs, into Yangon's live bird markets have been sprayed with insecticide.

She said: "Now the bird flu outbreak is under the control and we expect the market to recover soon."

There are three chicken wholesale markets in Yangon, located in Hlaing Tharyar, Mingalar Taung Nyunt and Kyeemyindaing townships, she said, adding that an average of 30 trucks enter the markets every day.

She said daily consumption of poultry meat in Yangon is about 60,000 viss (one viss = 1.6 kg or 3.6 pounds).

Dr Hla said the price of chickens at poultry farms is about 2,400 kyat (MMK) per viss but by the time it reaches consumers, that has climbed to about MMK6,000.

One viss of chicken prior to the outbreak was closer to MMK3,000, she said.

U. Joezat, chairman of the Myanmar Eggs Association, said egg prices have also retreated.

He said: "Fewer eggs are being sent to the markets and prices are down," adding that about 250,000 eggs are entering Yangon's markets in early February – down by as much as 100,000 a day from January.

He told Myanmar Times that the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department temporally imposed restrictions on the transport and sale of poultry, eggs and animal feed after the Mayangone outbreak.

A poultry seller at the Kyauktada market confirmed that the retail price of chicken is about MMK6,000 a viss, while farmed CP chickens are closer to MMK5,000 for the same amount. However, she said her sales were normal.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
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