THE poultry industry in Zimbabwe continues to contract with indications that total day-old chick sales and retentions tumbled by 4% in 2015 to 74,5 million, an industry official said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Giving an industry update, the Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairman Solomon Zawe revealed that in 2015, total day-old chick sales and retentions were 74,5 million, 4% lower than 2014.
He said after peaking at 6,9 million chicks in June, chick sales and retentions continued to decline to the end of the year. Similarly, chick prices dropped from $74 per 100 chicks in June to $64 in December, he said.
“The broiler industry continues to contract,” Zawe said.
“Breeders stocks in 2015 – that is growing, in-lay and chick production — were 12,22% and 18% down on 2014. Production of hatching eggs was 6% lower, but these were partly offset by imports which increased by 29% over the previous year,” he said.
Zawe said the number of birds slaughtered and total dressed weight of broiler meat in the large scale chicken abattoirs in 2015 were 1,85 million birds and 2,960 metric tonne (mt) per month, which was 7% and 10% higher than 2014.
He, however, said abattoirs experienced difficulties in offloading meat, leading to stock build-ups. Average stockholding was 26% higher than 2014 and averaged 868mt/month.
He said the average producer price was 4% lower than 2014 and declined to $2,55/kg CDM for the last quarter of 2015, while wholesale prices in 2015 of whole birds and chicken portions were 0% to 5% lower than 2014.
On layers, Zawe said while growing and in-production layer breeder stocks declined in 2015 compared to 2014, breeder chicks increased by 84%.
He said the reduced production of layer hatching eggs in 2015 by 36% were offset by a large (309%) increase in imports which resulted in record production of sexed pullets of 3,21 million compared to 2,33 million in 2014.
“Production of table eggs in the large-scale sector continues to decline and averaged 1,56 million dozen eggs per month in 2015, being 19% lower than that of 2014,” he said.
However, production in the small to medium-scale sector based on sexed pullet sales was estimated to have peaked at 3,5 million dozen in December, yielding a grand total of 5,3 million dozen, in contrast to the long-term (January 2011 to July 2015) average of 4,1 million dozen per month, he noted.
“This projected increase in egg production is thought to be the main reason for the collapse in the producer price which is 10% lower than 2014 and averaged $3,21 per tray in the last quarter of 2015.”