LAHORE - Prices of eggs continued to rise amid rising demand due to change in climate while price of chicken has kept constantly downward tendency, touching the lowest level mainly owing to ban on export to Afghanistan.

The poultry industry was charging Rs110 per dozen eggs on Sunday, compared with Rs85 per dozen around two weeks back. Retailers are charging Rs9-10 per egg as compared to Rs6-7 per egg last month.

Poultry farmers said that presently, live bird is costing farmers around Rs140 per kg on average while ex-farm rate is below Rs80 per kg. Hence, poultry farmers are presently suffering loss of over Rs120 per live bird of 2kg.

On average, country produces around 3 million broiler birds daily, translating into loss of about Rs360 million just in broiler farms, said Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit, adding that breeders are also suffering loss of the same amount of Rs360 million on daily basis, totaling loss of Rs720 million to poultry industry daily. 

The poultry industry has been suffering loses in meat by almost maintaining white meat rate in the range of Rs120-140 per kg in different markets owing to increased supply of birds from farms.

He defended the price hike in egg, linking it to rising demand against the normal supply from the farms and said prices may go up further when winter would touch to its peak.

He said that poultry sector has been serving the nation since 1962 and providing affordable poultry products to the masses to fulfil the requirements of animal protein. Poultry at present contributes 40 per cent of the total meat consumption and generates employment and income for about 1.8 million people.

He stated that poultry is the cheapest available meat protein source for masses and as such, is an effective check upon the spiraling animal protein prices also. “We are producing 9.4 billions table eggs and 0.95 million metric tons chicken meat annually. In our country per capita consumption of meat is only 5.5 kg and 55-60 eggs annually. Whereas, as per standard requirement, 25-28 kg meat and 250-300 eggs are required to be consumed by each person. Therefore we are already consuming less protein as per international standards.”

He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has been providing transit route to India, Brazil and the USA for their shipment of food, eggs and poultry products to Afghanistan but denying the export from its own country. Resultantly, the local industry is rapidly closing down, as Afghanistan is the consumer market of Pakistan, which is now being captured quickly by other countries including India due to our bad policies.