BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
POULTRY feeds production increased by 58% to 110,121 tonnes in the last quarter of 2018 and generated more than $106,5 million in revenue, latest industry reports have shown.
In an industry update, Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairperson Solomon Zawe said poultry feeds continued to dominate the stockfeed industry with production averaging 36,707 metric tonnes per month.
“On the back of the buoyant broiler industry, poultry feeds continued to dominate the stockfeed industry and in the fourth quarter of 2018, production averaged 36,707 metric tonnes per month (worth $35,5m), being increases of 58% in quantity and 155% in value over the same period in 2017,” Zawe said.
He said the prices of most raw materials procured in the fourth quarter of 2018 increased significantly, compared to prices in the third quarter.
While price changes of maize were negligible, Zawe said prices of all other raw materials increased dramatically, including local milling by-products and were particularly notable for solvent extracted soya meal, sunflower cake or meal, urea, salt, fine limestone flour, coarse limestone flour, methionine, lysine and vitamins and premixes.
On average, prices of feeds in the fourth quarter increased by 49% compared to third quarter prices.
However, prices of concentrates increased by 110%, reflecting the high costs of imported components.
Average weighted broiler and layer feed prices in the third fourth of 2018 were $1,008 and $750 per metric tonnes, respectively, being 50% and 46% higher than prices in the third quarter, the ZPA boss said.
As a result of shortages of key raw materials such as maize and wheat brans and foreign currency-induced shortages in imported soya meal, minerals and vitamins, Zawe said many producers have been forced to switch from on-farm feed mixing to reliance on compound feeds from stockfeed manufacturers, creating an increase in demand.
“Shortages of foreign currency as well as the poor start to the rainy season will likely maintain pressure on feed raw material costs, forcing farmers to maintain high producer prices. This is expected to translate into reduced demand for poultry products. Thus, after the traditional festive season rise in demand, the first half of 2019 is likely to witness a slowdown,” he said.