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Iran’s poultry industry crisis deepens

Iranian government sources report a 10.5% rise in supplies of poultry meat during the first quarter of the current Persian year (March 21-June 21), but market participants are more cautious.
Currently, the price for chicken on the open market in Inran stands at 40,000 tomans ($ 9.4) per kg. Photo: ANP
Currently, the price for chicken on the open market in Inran stands at 40,000 tomans ($ 9.4) per kg. Photo: ANP

Despite the government’s estimations, the market is on the edge of the full-fledged crisis, they warn, and if feedstuff shortages are not properly addressed, prices could reach record-breaking heights.

Over the past few weeks, Iran’s poultry industry has been hit by power outages combined with abnormal heat.

Power outages cause poultry losses

Gholamhossein Jafar, chairman of the board of the National Poultry Farmers Union, claimed that numerous farms lost their entire chicken population during the outages as they had no backup power supply sources. Several poultry farms in Iran posted photos of thousands of dead chicks that reportedly died during power outages. The overall count remains unknown, and it is yet to be seen whether the affected farmers would be eligible for any compensation.

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Farhad Giahi, president of the Guilan Poultry Farmers Union, said that farmers across the country urgently rent diesel power generators in order not to lose their businesses in case of new outages. In some instances, he said, blackouts lasted for longer than five hours resulting in a failure of the alternative sources of power generation.

Chicken becomes unaffordable

Mohammad Reza Hosseina, a member of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, forecasted that if no measures are taken to address the current problems, the price of chicken is expected to reach 100,000 tomans (US$ 23.6) per kg (retail). “This would create severe social and security crises,” Hosseina warned, adding that the price for red meat is also expected to skyrocket. Currently, the price for chicken on the open market stands at 40,000 tomans (US$ 9.4) per kg.

...the price of chicken on the free market in Iran more than doubled, sparking protests.

The government distributes chicken at a state-subsidised price of 24,900 tomans (US$ 5.8) per kg, but currently, it is almost impossible to find any poultry at this price in the country. If that if the forecast comes true, chicken is likely to become unaffordable to the largest part of Iran’s population. Over the past year, the price of chicken on the free market in Iran more than doubled, sparking protests among citizens.