Kwacha gain boosts domestic poultry trade

Players in the poultry industry have resorted to selling their products domestically because of the continued gain of the local currency, the Kwacha.

The gaining of the Kwacha has resulted into the country registering a sharp decrease in exports of poultry products.

Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) Executive Director, Dominic Chanda, has disclosed that the reversal in trade inflow has been necessitated by pricing of poultry products which are exported in dollars.

Speaking in a phone interview with ZANIS, Mr. Chanda explained that the strengthening of the local currency has seen poultry products fetching a higher price on the local market than when exported.

He has observed that if the currency continues to gain, the sector will register increased competition locally among players, a situation which will make consumers benefit owing to the law of supply and demand.

He said currently the country’s export rate of poultry products to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Community Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions stand between 10 percent to 15 percent percent annually.

“Following easing up on the monetary policy, the local currency over time has drastically recovered against foreign major currencies and today the Kwacha is selling at  K15.5868 to US$1,” Mr. Chanda said.

Mr. Chanda said a tray  of eggs is fetching between K33 to K38 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which buys between 30 and 35 percent of poultry products from Zambia.

In Zambia, a tray of eggs is selling between K45 and K50.

He said this entails that local producers are making profit gains from exports of the poultry products. 

And Mr. Chanda has observed that maize products such as number three meal and wheat prices have gone up while the imported products such as soya cakes and vaccines prices have dropped.

“We are optimistic that an equilibrium in the shake-up will be found but certain that benefits of gaining of the local currency will be felt in the medium and long term,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chanda has said the poultry sector is projecting that hatcheries in the country will produce over two million chicks per week ahead of the festive period.

He said the sales are expected to rise in the next two months, adding that hatcheries have since put up parent stocks, the hens which lay eggs for hatching of chicks.