, YANGON

Increasing local demand, Myanmar imports over 19 million chicks

The government has allowed poultry growers to import over 19 million chicks to ease a poultry shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Mandalay livestock industry official said.

U Kyaw Htin of the Myanmar Livestock Federation said chicken production had dropped by as much as 40 percent since last month, driving up prices. He blamed the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government since March for the drop in supply.

The wholesale price of chicken rose to K5000-K5500 (US$4), and the retail price to K8000-K10,000.

“We also have local chicken breeding machines. We produce about 18 million chickens a month,” Kyaw Htin said. “Chick imports were suspended before the coronavirus outbreak because local production exceeded demand.”

He said prices dropped to K2200 per 1.63 kilograms.

“The COVID-19 outbreak led to a 40 percent drop in local production of chickens, and chicken prices at the farm doubled,” he said.

He blamed production drop on travel restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19. Some chicken breeding machines stopped or reduced production.

The government allowed 19.2 million chicks to be imported from mid-May to mid-July.

“Chicken breeding machines have sufficient production capacity, but imports were allowed due to concerns of a supply shortage,” he said. “We expect it to return to normal in July. Chicken prices have begun to fall gradually since reaching a high of K5500 per 1.63 kilograms, and are now about K4400,” he added.

The country’s poultry producers have shifted to modern cold-storage farming and factory-based breeding to counter the major challenges posed by the rising number of foreign players in the sector. – Translated

Source: Myanmar Times