March 1, 2023
Chicken prices in Egypt decline after country imports Brazilian chicken
Chicken prices in Egypt fell for the first time this week after the government imported more than 100,000 tonnes of Brazilian frozen chicken, Middle East News Agency reported.
The imported chicken was made available for purchase at chain hypermarkets and establishments run by Egypt's Ministry of Supply and the military, which provide food at reduced prices for low-income Egyptians.
Demand for the frozen chicken, which costs about 35% less than fresh, locally raised poultry, was extremely high because of recent price increases that have rendered beef and chicken unaffordable for many consumers.
Mohamed Omar, a worker at a hypermarket in Cairo's Maadi district, said that he had placed the chicken in the market's refrigerators on Thursday; by Saturday, there wasn't a single one left, and they had to restock.
Local chicken sellers then lowered their prices by EGP 10 (~US$0.33; EGP 1 = US$0.033).
Compared to other food items, chicken prices have increased by a larger percentage in Egypt. Last year, a lack of feed brought on by government import restrictions caused many poultry producers to leave the business, which reduced supply and raised prices.
Egyptian poultry farmers have warned that the industry is in danger of collapsing, and have urged the government to intervene and provide subsidies for corn and soybeans, the two main ingredients in chicken feed.
The Egyptian government advised farmers to adjust profit margins, and accused local producers, especially large-scale farms, of profiteering.
Egypt typically purchases chicken from Brazil prior to the Ramadan, when Egyptians typically consume more food. The country doubled its imports to make up for the shortage of local supplies.
It imported 50,000 tonnes of chicken on average per month last year. Every month, Egyptians consume an average of 180,000 tonnes.
Abdelaziz El Sayed, president of the poultry division of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, said the amount of imports will continue until the local industry stabilises.
- Middle East News Agency