Chicken prices rebound with wedding seasonChicken prices have rebounded with the start of the wedding season after dropping sharply before the Tihar festival. Poultry meat now costs Rs260-Rs265 per kg in the Kathmandu valley, up from Rs220-Rs230 a week ago, according to the Nepal Chicken Sellers Association.
Chicken prices have rebounded with the start of the wedding season after dropping sharply before the Tihar festival. Poultry meat now costs Rs260-Rs265 per kg in the Kathmandu valley, up from Rs220-Rs230 a week ago, according to the Nepal Chicken Sellers Association.
The association determines prices based on supply and demand. It has hiked chicken prices by Rs35 per kg in the last two weeks.
Demand has been on the lower side as many restaurants have shortened their menus and households have been avoiding chicken due to a shortage of cooking gas, but sales have risen slightly as the wedding season has got underway, traders said.
“We have raised prices slightly with the start of the marriage season and the reopening of some schools, colleges and offices after the festival holidays,” said Shreeya Dhakal, vice-president of the association. “But overall demand is still down by 20-30 percent compared to normal days.”
The Kathmandu Valley usually consumes 250-300 tonnes of chicken meat daily. The flow of customers at most chicken shops in the valley is quite low these days. The shops have been selling the meat without singeing it as they don’t have LP gas.
Dhakal said that the production of chicken had been affected this season as shipments of imported chicken feed had been stopped at the southern border. Most of the poultry feed used in Nepal comes from India.
Farmers in the Tarai districts like Chitwan, Rupandehi, Bara, Parsa and Sarlahi have been badly affected by the shortage of feed and fuel.
“The poultry industry is the hardest hit sector. There is no poultry feed. Hatcheries are struggling to get diesel and gas. On the other hand, chicken farmers have not been able to sell their products in the market due to transportation problems,” said Guna Chandra Bista, president of the Hatchery Association of Nepal.
Bista said that poultry farmers had been incurring huge losses. Chicken production has dropped 20-25 percent, he added.
Egg producers are also going through hard times. Shivram KC, president of the Nepal Egg Producers Association, said, “Farmers have been forced to pay more for chicken feed, but prices of eggs and live chickens have not gone up accordingly.”
KC added that middlemen had been reaping benefits from the situation. “Farmers have to sell their products at a cheaper rate although market prices have been on a rising trend,” said KC.