(MENAFN - Arab News) While poultry prices are spiraling in the domestic market, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture said a ministerial committee is responsible for monitoring the market.
The price of a carton of 1-kilo chicken has reached SR 145 accompanied by a sharp rise in egg prices, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported from Riyadh yesterday.
Poultry traders decided to raise prices recently, and it reflected in the market over the past few days, a market source said.
"Poultry retailers or importers have no justification to hike the price of their products," Khaled Al-Fehaid, assistant undersecretary for livestock resources at the ministry, said reacting to the unwarranted spurt in the prices.
"The case of poultry is the same as any other product. If there is no increase in the cost of production, the producers have no right to increase their prices," Al-Fehaid said.
He added that the price of poultry products is subject to the market dynamics of demand and supply.
"Poultry pricing depends mainly on the price of chickenfeed, which accounts for 60 percent of its production cost. Price of chickenfeed has gone up in the international market because of climatic upheavals in the United States, South America and the Black Sea area," the official said.
He added that a ministerial committee for food supplies constituted by the ministries of Finance and Agriculture is responsible for monitoring prices in the food product markets, and that the committee had reached an understanding with some major poultry manufacturing companies regarding prices.
However, the Ministry of Agriculture has been taking steps to ensure increased supply of chicken with moves such as encouraging greater investment in the industry.
More head of cattle will also be imported to counter a shortage of beef in the market, he said.
The latest consumer index available at the website of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed a rising trend in some food items including poultry. The price of a kilogram of imported chicken is put at SR 13.95 and of a locally produced chicken at SR 13.50.
Minister of Agriculture Fahd Balghunaim said on an earlier occasion that the rise of poultry price in the Kingdom was linked to the rise in the price of chickenfeed components such as millet and wheat. Millet accounts for 65 percent of the feed.
He also said that a royal decree was issued on July 20, 2011, for 50 percent subsidization of animal feed and its components and to enforce strict surveillance of markets to stop any manipulation in pricing.