Panic buying witnessed as price of chicken jumps 25%

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Govt intervention sought to curb rise

KUWAIT CITY, May 28: Barely 72 hours have passed since the Cabinet’s decision to form a ministerial committee to enhance the food security system, prevent price hikes, confront crises, and plan for self-sufficiency in some commodities. The chicken crisis in cooperative societies and supermarkets continues to worsen, as prices have risen more than 25 percent, reports Al-Qabas daily. While the markets witnessed a noticeable shortage of live and frozen chicken, demands have increased for more effective government measures to control the situation, and work to provide sufficient quantities of this vital commodity and limit the rise in its prices. Officials in the cooperative sector and supermarkets attributed these price hikes to the ongoing repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

They revealed that some poultry companies raised their prices due to the increase in the feed prices and the impact of this on more than one sector. The officials highlighted the widespread demand of citizens and residents to buy local and imported chicken, which has led to a scarcity of some types in the markets and fresh chicken stores. They explained that the demand for buying live and frozen chicken increased by 40 percent in some cooperative societies, supermarkets and slaughterhouses.

The demand was not limited to local chickens, but also Brazilian chicken, the quantities of which decreased significantly recently, especially in light of the fierce competition among different countries to import from them. In addition, this is aimed to deal with the needs of commercial markets, especially with the ongoing repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war, and its impact on the arrival of feed and food items to many countries including Kuwait.

The daily monitored the increase in the price of one kilogram of fresh local chicken. The cost has increased from about KD 0.750 per kilogram to between KD 1 and KD 2.5 in some stores. The sellers attributed the reason behind this to the high prices of feed and transportation costs, indicating that the demand of citizens and residents has increased despite the high prices. In cooperative societies and supermarkets, there was a shortage of some types of local and imported chicken, compared to the months of March and April. It was also noted that the price of jumbo chicken from some local companies was sold at KD 1.300, and the smaller one cost KD 1.200.

Consumers indicated that this increase in the prices of poultry and eggs in some coops and wholesale markets was not expected to happen in such a sharp way. A remarkable observation made during the tour of the markets was that consumers bought large quantities of chicken to store in their homes. The scene brought back memories of the purchase frenzy that occurred at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of consumers expressed their astonishment at the discrepancy in the prices of chicken cartons, as they were sold at KD 10 in Shuwaikh and KD 12 in the cooperative societies. They called for the need to tighten control over the markets, reduce prices, and take more measures to protect consumers.

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