Prices of chicken and eggs have almost doubled due to collusion among poultry feed companies that collectively decided to raise the cost of feed despite a reduction in rates of their main input, said the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) on Friday.
The anti-trust watchdog has completed an inquiry into the poultry industry where it has been revealed that 19 poultry feed companies are involved in price coordination and their alleged anti-competitive conduct has caused a rise in poultry feed prices.
“It appears that not only is the timing of the price increase coordinated but the exact quantum of the increase is also coordinated,” according to findings of an inquiry report.
The CCP findings came amid a sharp rise in prices of chicken and eggs – the two protein-rich food items that have started getting out of reach of the lowest income group.
The CCP said that the feed companies’ claim that they increased prices due to an increase in their input cost did not hold merit.
“Whereas prices of some inputs may have increased, each mill has purchased these inputs at different rates and has stocks in hand with different, cost structure, efficiency, and business model,” it added.
Pakistan’s annual poultry feed consumption in 2019-20 was 6.6 million tons, but the overall consumption of poultry feed had been declining annually from its peak of 9.76 million tons in 2015-16.
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