Chicken Prices Rise for Ramadan

SAUDI ARABIA - Although many stores are trying to hold down prices during Ramadan, chicken prices haven risen recently owing to strong demand and reduced supplies.
calendar icon 8 August 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

The price of chicken has risen and further increases are expected due to lack of supplies, supermarket operators have told Saudi Gazette.

Sayed Salem, General Manager of Farm 9 in Al-Khobar, said: "While the price of milk has been controlled thanks to King Abdullah, the prices of chicken continue to rise because of limited production in Saudi poultry farms and declining output from exporting countries like France and Brazil."

Supermarket managers said the prices of chicken have gone up by at least two riyals (SAR). Chicken breasts weighing 800g are wow priced SAR12.95, up by SAR2.95 from SAR10 before the start of Ramadan.

A one-kilo chicken is now SAR14.95, which used to be SAR12; while the 900-g chicken now costs SAR13.95, up by SAR2.95.

Mr Salem said local poultry farm operators have to increase their prices because they too have to compensate for the hike in production costs, like feeds.

He explained: "Even in this part of the world, we have not been spared from the effect of the global recession, triggering low food production and consequently spiraling costs,"

Mr Salem added that, in the spirit of Ramadan, most supermarkets in the Kingdom are now keeping their profits very low.

He said: "All the big superstores and hypermarkets, like the Farm chains, Panda, Carrefour, Lulu, and Geant are absorbing the increase in prices of basic food items in order to help consumers who are now saddled with increasing cost of food products."

Unfortunately, prices of fruits and vegetable this year have gone up too far, according to supermarket managers. They said not all shoppers are buying the vegetables and the imported fruits this time of the year not only because of the cost but also because they do not have the cash to spend.

To attract more consumers, all superstores and hypermarkets have introduced promotions, like 'buy one, get one free' offers. Many stores also give away one major item for every one-time shopping that totals SAR1,000.

Saudi Gazette reports that Mr Salem said: "We will see more people buying about three days before the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, and by that time prices of basic items, like foodstuffs, will have gone down."

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