BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
ZIMBABWE’S poultry industry recorded a 19% slump in output, producing 19,5 million day old chicks in the first quarter of the year as players cite a reduction in demand and supply.
Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairperson, Solomon Zawe said in the quarter to March this year, broiler day-old chick production averaged 6,5 million per month, 19% lower compared to the same period last year.
He, however, said price of chicks remained static at $163 per 100 chicks.
“The first quarter of 2019 witnessed marked reduction in demand and supply due to the increases in cost of feed and reduced consumer buying power. These twin forces are expected to persist into the second quarter,” Zawe said in an industry update.
“Due to the drought, the country will have to depend on expensive imported soyabean meal and maize for the rest of the year. All these factors will translate into increased costs of poultry production. … wages have, (meanwhile), not yet adjusted at the same rate.”
Zawe said breeding stocks continued to increase post-outbreak of Avian Influenza in May 2017 with broiler breeder stocks (growing and in-lay) averaging 730 753 birds per month, 41% up on the first quarter of last year.
He said hatching egg production from local broiler breeders averaged 7,5 million per month in the quarter, 36% higher than 2018 figures.
“Reliance on imported hatching eggs to meet demand for broiler day-old chicks continues to decline and in the first quarter of 2019 averaged 0,9 million per month, a reduction of 74% and 58% in the first quarter and fourth quarter of 2018, respectively,” he said.
Zawe said estimated total broiler meat production in the period under review was 10 203 tonnes per month, 9% lower than the same period in 2018.
“Large-scale meat production in the first quarter declined by 11% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, whereas small-scale production is estimated to have declined by 22%. In the face of rising costs, wholesale prices in the first quarter remained similar to fourth quarter of 2018,” Zawe said.
Total layer breeder stocks (growing and in-lay) averaged 71 108 birds per month in the period under review.
Zawe noted that production of layer hatching eggs averaged 840 590 per month, 7% down on fourth quarter of 2018, but 146% higher than the same period last year. Sexed pullet production (layer day-old chicks) averaged 265 543 per month, an increase of 23% over the same period last year.
The average price of sexed pullets increased by 20% to $2,63 per chick, he said.