Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — The Egyptian government intends to import 50,000 tons of poultry from Brazil; To fill the shortage in the local market of poultry, whose prices have risen to record levels during the last period, according to official statements by Ambassador Nader Saad, the government spokesman, while producers and traders confirmed that poultry prices decreased by 20% during the past hours, following a significant increase in the volume of domestic production.
The lack of fodder, high global prices, and the drop in the exchange rate of the pound against the dollar caused an increase in the price of poultry by more than 60% in a year, bringing the price per kilo to more than 81 pounds ($2.65).
Dr. Tharwat Al-Zeini, Vice President of the General Federation of Poultry Producers, said that the government intends to import Brazilian poultry to fill the gap in the Egyptian market as a result of the decline in domestic production during the chicken production cycle during December, adding that imported poultry will be offered in the government’s consumer complexes a month ago. Ramadan, during which consumption increases.
The government owns many consumer complexes and outlets to sell goods to citizens at reduced prices, most notably in terms of number of complexes affiliated to the Ministry of Supply, which number 1,300, according to official data.
Al-Zaini expected, in exclusive statements to “CNN in Arabic”, that the government would not import the entire announced quantity of poultry, after the increase in the volume of domestic poultry production during the past few days, which was reflected in the decrease in prices in the market during the past hours by a rate ranging between 15-15%. 17%, and the price of eggs decreased by 8 pounds ($0.26) per carton.
The lack of feed in the Egyptian market, as a result of the Central Bank’s decisions to rationalize imports due to the lack of dollars, led to huge losses for poultry producers during the past year, prompting some to announce the culling of chicks or distributing them for free due to the unavailability of feed for fattening, which negatively affected the volume of production, according to breeders. However, there are no accurate estimates of the size of the decline in production.
Al-Zaini ruled out the impact of imported poultry on the plans of producers and breeders to increase local production, explaining that the declared volume of imported poultry represents only 5% of the volume of consumption, as the volume of domestic production reaches 1.5 million tons annually, while the declared imported quantity is 50 thousand. Tons only, once again confirming that the import of Brazilian poultry came to fill the deficit in production, which will return to normal levels soon, and therefore there will be no need for import.
He added that the Egyptian consumer prefers locally produced poultry over frozen imported poultry, which is only used in some restaurants or hotels.
According to the data of the Ministry of Agriculture, the volume of poultry production is 1.4 billion birds, and 13 billion eggs are sufficient for local production, and the volume of poultry investment is more than 100 billion pounds ($3.3 billion).
In response to what is being raised on social media regarding the quality of imported poultry, the vice president of the Poultry Federation said that there are relevant devices to examine shipments to ensure the quality of products before they are put on the market to preserve the health of consumers, and that importing poultry is only limited to the government.
In an official statement, the government denied rumors of imported shipments of spoiled and expired frozen poultry, stressing that all food shipments imported from abroad and traded in markets are completely safe.
For his part, Sameh El-Sayed, Head of the Poultry Division of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce in Giza, confirmed that the import of Brazilian poultry aims to achieve a balance in prices in the local market, which witnessed a gap in the volume of consumption compared to the quantities produced due to the lack of feed, adding that in conjunction with the announcement of the import of Brazilian poultry, the market witnessed Al-Masry added that there was an increase in the supply of poultry, which led to a decrease in the price of poultry on the farm by 20%, bringing the price per kilo down from 80 pounds ($2.62) to 65 pounds ($2.13).
And “Al-Sayed” stressed, in exclusive statements to “CNN in Arabic”, the need to tighten control over poultry prices in the market after the decline in the price on the farm, advising consumers not to buy from any shops or stores that sell the price of a kilogram of poultry for more than 65 pounds ($ 2.13). Poultry prices are expected to decline gradually during the coming period after the increase in supply, provided that they decline significantly after the month of Ramadan after the decline in demand and its return to normal levels.
The volume of consumption of food products in Egypt increases during the month of Ramadan, and the consumption of poultry increases from an average of 60 thousand tons per month to 70 thousand tons during the month of Ramadan, according to the estimates of merchants.
In response to what is being raised about the quality of Brazilian poultry, Al-Sayed stressed that Brazilian poultry is of high quality, and is widely consumed in the Gulf markets, and accounts for 70-80% of its needs, indicating that the import of poultry will take place in successive stages depending on the volume of supply. Which requires educators and producers to unite with the state to provide local demand, and not to exaggerate pricing.
Sameh Al-Sayed agreed, with what was mentioned by the Vice President of the General Federation of Poultry Producers, that the import of Brazilian poultry will not affect the plans of breeders to increase the volume of production, and the government will not import all quantities of poultry in light of the gradual increase in domestic production.
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