Pakistan: feed price rise result of cartel

09-01-2008 | |

The exorbitant increase in the price of poultry feed from October 2006 to November 2007 is believed to be the work of a cartel of feed millers.

Commenting on the increase, SAPS (Society for the Advancement of Poultry
Sciences) general secretary Dr Shakaeb Ahmad said: “What is astonishing is that
the chicken feed prices have shown an increase of 40 to 51% from June 2006 to
October 2007 whereas it should have been 18%, considering the progressive
inflation rate in the country.”

If the upward trend continues, the price
of chickens and eggs will not be affordable for common buyers and small farmers
will be pushed out of business in the face of growing production costs. Ahmad
further commented that the fact that all feed companies imposed a price increase
at the same time and date, regardless of quality, was surprising.

“A
perfect understanding appears to exist,” he said, adding that larger feed
producers filled their storage when prices were low in the crop season, selling
the produce later at exorbitant prices.

Artificial
shortage
Many poultry farmers are reported to agree that a cartel must
have been actively behind the ‘systematic’ raise in prices of chicken
feed.
Mohammad Azhar, a poultry farmer stated, that feed millers created an
artificial shortage of feed ingredients while storing huge quantity of raw
material to manipulate prices.
The Pakistan Poultry Association has refused
to give any official statement on the issue. No measures as yet are being taken
to address the grievances of small farmers.

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