April 17, 2023


Iran's poultry producers concerned over impact of Russian poultry entering local market

 

 


 

Several poultry farmers and guild unions in Iran voiced fears that by allowing poultry imports from Russia, the government risks undermining local operations.


According to Poultry World, Iranian poultry farmers are currently battling an oversupply crisis owing to a slump in domestic consumption following a controversial industry reform undertaken by the government at the end of 2022.


The market experienced an oversupply of between 500 tonnes and 1,000 tonnes of chicken meat recently, Iranian news outlet Eghtesad Online reported, citing official data from the Agriculture Ministry.


Konstantin Korneev, executive director of the Russian consulting firm, Rincon Management, said almost all Russian chicken exporters are negotiating to enter the Iranian market.


Habib Asadollahnejad, chief executive of the National Union of Poultry Meat Farmers, told the publication that admitting new foreign firms to the poultry market where a supply surplus had already inflicted losses on Iranian farmers was unjustified, adding that the authorities must explain the rationale behind this measure.


In light of this development, allowing Russian poultry imports could lend a last blow to the troubled Iranian industry, the publication said.


The very fact that Iran keeps importing frozen chicken while the market is going through oversupply has been sharply criticised by local farmers, Eghtesad Online said, adding that some market players that imported large quantities of frozen broiler meat last year rushed to sell them in recent months, before the end of its shelf life, which put even bigger pressure on the market.


The Iranian government's rationale to start importing poultry meat from Russia is likely associated with a need to ensure the country's food security, Eghtesad Online, citing local market analysts.


“The government is aware of the results of its wrong policies in the field of chicken production in the past few months and knows that a slump in output and price hikes are inevitable due to the heavy losses suffered by farmers,” the publication said, adding that the Russian poultry meat could compensate for a drop in domestic production.


In general, Russian poultry is expected to be highly competitive in the Iranian market, thanks to access to cheaper feed.


Iran is estimated to import 70-80% of feed grain, the price of which skyrocketed last year.

 

- Financial Tribune

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