EghtesadOnline: Poultry farming is facing a serious challenge these days over irregular supplies of animal feed.
The shortage of animal feed (corn and soymeal) is expected to have an adverse impact on the prices of chicken and eggs in the coming months. This year’s (March 2020-21) imports of animal feed has plunged by almost half of last year’s volume due to the rising value of US dollar and depreciation of local currency.
“The domestic poultry industry works by means of a simple mechanism,” Mehdi Masoumi Isfahani, a member of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture and an industry player, was quoted as saying by TCCIM’s news website.
“The timely supply of raw material guarantees the timely production of chicken and eggs. The government supplies raw materials and the Central Bank of Iran allocates the foreign currency needed for exports. The Agriculture Ministry is responsible for the level of output and the Industries Ministry controls the pricing. Therefore, chicken farmers have no authority when it comes to making decisions and policies,” he said.
“Whatever happens with the market, from price gouging to price cut to shortage of products or their abundance, it is the government that is responsible. Chicken farmers should not be blamed.”
Masoumi noted that since the beginning of the current Iranian year [March 20], the supply of poultry feed has been carried out in a disorderly fashion, as a result of which the market has been affected negatively.
“Government organizations need to collaborate with each other [to streamline the prerequisites] and we chicken farmers will do our job of producing chicken and eggs,” he said.
His comments come as, according to reports, some chicken farmers set up temporary chicken-raising coops to secure cheap, subsidized poultry feed from the government and then sell the feed at open market rates that are four times the government prices.
Such practices are believed to be one of the main reasons behind the recent rise in egg prices.
A kilogram of soymeal is now sold at 135,000 rials ($0.5) at open market rates whereas its government price is 24,500 rials ($0.09). Corn is sold at 36,500 rials ($0.13) per kilogram at market rates while the government pricing is arounf 15,000 rials ($0.005), Nasser Nabipour, the head of Tehran’s Union of Egg-Laying Chicken Producers, told Mehr News Agency.
Importers Not Responsible
Importers of livestock and poultry feed are only the government’s designated agents for procuring the goods; they don’t have a role in the distribution of the products, Abbas Hajizadeh, the secretary of Iran’s Livestock and Poultry Feed Importers Union, said.
“The president’s chief of staff [Mahmoud Vaezi] recently claimed that brokers engaged in the import and distribution of subsidized goods have led to food price increases. As the first link in the supply chain of animal feed, importers play no role in the distribution and pricing of commodities. Importers of essential goods deliver products to those who have hawala transaction documents issued by the Agriculture Ministry as soon as they discharge their products from ports and customs,” he said.