ISLAMABAD (March 02 2009): The prices of chicken, mutton and beef have registered a dramatic surge for the last couple of weeks, adding to consumers pain at a time when dairy, fruits and vegetables have all seen price increases in the recent past. Consumers in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are complaining that meat prices have broken all the previous records.
"We are really confused as what to do as the price of 1 kg chicken meat has become almost equal to what the price of mutton was a few days ago. While the prices of mutton and beef too have jumped up. This is really worrying," said a customer at a shop here at Karachi Company.
The price of chicken for the last few days has registered a dramatic increase of 30 percent. The new price is Rs 127, while it was only Rs 80-100 a few weeks ago. Similarly, one kilogram mutton currently costs Rs 320 in different markets of the Capital, when it was Rs 20 less than only a couple of days ago. The boneless beef is selling at Rs 240 as compared to Rs 220 a couple of days ago.
The meat sellers say there are various causes for rising meat prices, including the high feed costs for chicken and animals. The meat cost is effected by the feed," explained, Raja Banaras, the manager and owner of Golden Food shop at Aabpara.
He said a 50 kg bag of chicken food, which was Rs 800 a few months ago was now available at Rs 1,200. "The high food price keeps the prices of chicken up," said another chicken seller. Secondly, he said the wholesalers were also providing the chicken at high rates.
However, about rising chicken prices owner of another outlet said, "It's one of the volatile markets. It just goes up and down. You get used to it." A livestock trader at Rawalpindi told this agency that there was shortage of animals in the market as the animals were not arriving from different areas of the country, with causes unknown to him. He said those arriving were at high rates and they were forced to sell them to butcher accordingly.
In the past many people preferred to buy chicken due to the high price of meat. But now they have no option as the prices of all the verities of meat have gone up, commented a lady at Commercial Market in Rawalpindi.
The rising prices of meat have also decreased the profit margins of restaurant and cafes. A restaurant owner at Aabpara said that due to high chicken prices he was going to increase the rate of a full roast chicken from Rs 260 to Rs 300.
When Chairman Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) Khalil Sattar was contacted and sought the reasons for the hike in the chicken prices, he attribute the rise in the prices to short supply of chicken due to closure of Poultry forms in some chicken breeding areas including Abbottabad. He also claimed that the prices of chicken feed like Soyabean have also gone up internationally causing hike in the cost of production.
He appealed to the government that the import of Soyabean form India should be allowed by road. He said currently it is imported by traian. He was of the view that importing the chicken feed (Soyabean) from India by train adding transportation cost to the poultry farmers resulting cost of live chicken and its meet to the consumers. He expressed the hope that prices of the chicken would come down when the supply situation of the chicken improves.