Sunday, September 26, 2021

Inquiry reveals why chicken, egg prices went up in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has revealed that 19 poultry feed companies have been involved in “price coordination” which led to repeated increase in prices of chicken and eggs.

An inquiry conducted by the CCP stated, “Poultry feed comprises approximately 76-80 % of the cost of broiler meat and eggs. Therefore, the hike in feed prices has affected the prices of chicken and eggs, which are the most commonly consumed high protein foods.”

“From December 2018 to December 2020, the feed mills colluded to raise the poultry feed prices by Rs825 per kg bag, thus making the feed 32% costlier for the poultry farmers,” the inquiry report revealed.

It said data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) for September 2020 shows that chicken prices rose by 18.31% and eggs by 5.2%. The rise in these prices coincided with an increase in feed prices by almost Rs100.

In October 2020, after another price increase by poultry feed mills (by Rs125 on layer and Rs175 on broiler feed), the chicken prices rose by 26.62% and eggs by 23.81 as compared to the previous month, the report noted.

In November 2020, poultry feed prices rose again by Rs150 per bag, causing an increase of 20.76% and 5.23% in the prices of chicken and eggs, respectively.

In December 2020, another price increase of Rs250 per bag in in poultry feed caused prices of chicken and eggs to rise by 3.21% and 14.08%, respectively.

The CCP took a suo motu notice on complaints received through the PM Citizens Portal and CCP’s own online complaint management system, alleging that some of the leading mills in the country collusively raised poultry feed prices.

In February 2021, the CCP raided two major poultry feed producers and impounded crucial evidence pointing towards price change coordination among the feed companies.

“The impounded record revealed that officials of 19 feed mills were using an active WhatsApp group where one feed producer would announce its intended price increase and the rest expressing and sharing their willingness to follow suit,” the CCP revealed.

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