No shortage of chicken, prices constant
- Minister Nadir
November 20, 2003
GINA -- Minister of Tourism Industry and Commence Manzoor Nadir yesterday visited several supermarkets, small stallholders and live chicken outlets to verify whether there has been an increase in the price of chicken and whether there is a shortage of the commodity.
The survey revealed that chicken prices and quantity have remained relatively stable, ranging from $165 to $180 per pound.
Minister Nadir's visit arose from reports that the price for chicken had gone up to $200 per pound.
Recently, two issues were raised by some sections of the media indicating a shortage of chicken and higher prices for it.
Other reports stated that since Government introduced the new tariff on imported chicken from 40 to 100 percent, prices have skyrocketed.
At some outlets, it was discovered that prices have decreased slightly compared to the same period last year.
New culvert at Annandale, Region Two
THE Government continues to spend millions of dollars on drainage and irrigation facilities for the rice farmers in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam). In picture, is a recently constructed culvert at Annandale on the Essequibo Coast.
And there was no indication of persons queuing up and rushing to stock up on chicken.
Minister Nadir stated, "What we are seeing here on the shelves of the supermarkets and on the stalls is that prices are now about $167 to $175 per pound, compared to December 2002 wholesale prices of $175 to $180 per pound.
He noted, it is unrealistic for some customers to demand large quantities at any one time without prior notice to wholesalers.
The local poultry sector has so far maintained the requisite quantity of chicken.
One outlet even indicated that it has increased its production capacity from last year. Last year weekly production of chicken for that outlet was 40,000 and it is now 60,000. That supplier hopes to have this increased to 80,000 by year-end.
Minister Nadir noted that today's exercise has shown that the market system works and that if chicken was short, prices would have increased.
He said, "We also have to be careful if the issue is chicken supplied from one producer or if the general supply is inadequate. The issue is that there is no shortage of chicken on the market and there is no escalation in the prices of chicken."
Further, Minister Nadir stressed that the entire market needs to be analysed for one to conclude on supply and demand and prices within that market - one cannot take a single supplier's inability to produce and determine that there is a shortage of chicken within the industry.
He emphasised that there is no special concession for one person; the concessions Government grants are industry wide.
He noted that in some cases where retailers sold chicken at the higher price, their profit margin was about $45 per pound.
As indicated before by Minister Nadir, customers need to shop around in order to benefit from the best possible price and quality.
Permanent Secretary Willet Hamilton and Public Relations ad Media Consultant to the Minister Donna Short-Gill, accompanied the Minister on the walk-about price seeking exercise.