May 20, 2013

 

Bangladesh's poultry sector seeks ban on corn export

 

 

Amid the recent price hikes of different feeds in international markets, Bangladesh's poultry industry has sought for an export ban on corn, a key raw material of poultry feed, in order to stabilise chicken and egg prices.

 

Industry owners said the poultry feed prices will go up further affecting the local eggs and meat supply if the government does not check corn export amid production fall in the global markets.

 

Breeders Association of Bangladesh (BAB) president Moshiur Rahman said a group of vested local traders is pushing the government to permit corn export as 50% of domestic demand is already being met by the locally-produced corn.

 

He added that the country will have to import the remaining half from overseas for production of poultry feed.

 

The present demand of corn in the poultry industry is nearly 1.6 million tonnes per year. In the last fiscal 2011-12, a total of 1.6 million tonnes of corn was produced in Bangladesh, Department of Agricultural Extension data showed.

 

The government should ensure smooth marketing facilities and check political unrest to ensure better prices for corn growers instead of allowing export, Moshiur said.

 

Corn is an essential raw material for producing poultry feeds in which nearly 60% of feed ingredient is available, millers said.

 

Feed Industry Association Bangladesh's (FIAB) president, Ihtehsham B. Shahjahan, said that international prices of poultry feeds have already increased in the last few months.

 

According to the managing director of Aftab Bahumukhi Farms, Fazle Rahim Khan Shahriar, there is a possibility of further price hikes for poultry feed as India, a major corn supplier, begins to restrict corn exports due to local production affected by droughts and floods.

 

Ihtehsham said corn export is prohibited, according to law, unless the price is above US$600 per tonne. "However, ignoring the existing law, corn has been exported to Nepal in recent times at US$190 per tonne."

 

Bangladeshi corn is also being smuggled to neighbouring India due to its high grade, he noted.

 

Shahriar, who is also the FIAB general secretary, said the poultry feed price of soy has been increased to BDT55-60 (US$0.70-0.7) per kilogramme from BDT33-35 (US$0.42-0.45) per kilogramme, meat & bone meal to BDT50-55 (US$0.64-0.70) from BDT32 (US$0.41) per kilogramme, mustered oilcake to BDT30-33 (US$0.38-0.42) per kilogramme from BDT18 (US$0.23) per kilogramme, corn to BDT23-24 (US$0.29-0.31) from BDT13 (US$0.17) per kilogramme, rice bran to BDT22-23 (US$0.28-0.29) per kilogramme from BDT14 (US$0.18).

 

The price of egg and chicken in the Bangladesh's local market has gone up by nearly 40% over the last one and a half years affecting low-income parties.

 

Saidur Rahman Babu, General Secretary of BAB said that 60% of poultry farms and 70% hatcheries and breeding farms were closed due to bird flu attack in 2007-08 period.

 

"Many of the farmers have been trying to revive their production. But the fresh price hike of corn and other feeds in the local and international markets have hit the struggling poultry farmers," he added.

 

Poultry producers said they were trying to recover from previous losses, due to the the bird-flu outbreak, by producing more day-old chicks and eggs. Feed manufacturers said Bangladesh is now producing high quality feed at international standards. They are using superior quality nutrients and enzymes so that protein is easily absorbed in feed.

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