EghtesadOnline: Duties on exports of chicken have been abolished until May 21, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced in a directive sent to all customs terminals across the country.
According to Mehdi Yousefkhani, the head of Tehran’s Union of Fowl and Fish Sellers, there has been a 50% decline in chicken consumption in Iran following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Mehr News Agency reported.
In addition, a severe shortage of animal feed, including soybean and corn meal, poses a challenge for poultry farmers, IRNA reported.
According to Financial Tribune, the above factors have led to a considerable production surplus in poultry farms, inflicting huge losses on the industry, which has led to the culling of millions of day-old chickens recently.
The culling, filmed and released widely on social media, has incited a range of strong reactions in recent days.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Morteza Rezaei said decisions had been made to lower day-old chicken production from 125 million to 115 million per month to avoid further losses, adding that there was no talk of culling.
However, he admitted that the culling f oday-old chickens is common in poultry industries around the world.
Following the public uproar, the Day-Old Chicken Producers Association wrote a letter to its members banning the cull of day-old chickens, saying any violations will be prosecuted.
As Akbar Golshahi, an official with Iran Veterinary Organization, told Fars News Agency, 1.2 billion day-old chickens are produced in Iran per year.
"If this production chain is somehow broken, there will be harmful consequences for the whole chicken production chain," he said.
Deputy head of Iran Chicken Farmers Union, Habib Asadollahnejad also told IRNA that broiler chicken producers have been inflicted financial losses to the tune of 15 trillion rials (more than $96 million) during the past 45 days.
According to Gholamreza Maleknia, an Agriculture Ministry official, Iran produces 2.5 million tons of chicken annually.
Between 120 million and 130 million chickens are produced on a monthly basis, he added.
The removal of export tariffs is aimed at helping producers to cushion their losses by exporting at least part of their surplus production.