Prices of poultry meat continued to rise last week as broiler chicken was sold at maximal Tk 165 a kilogram on Thursday, further augmenting commoners' sufferings.
Closure of many pandemic-hit farms, higher production costs and rising demand following a surge in the social whirl in recent weeks were key reasons for this hike, said insiders.
Edible oil, rice and sugar prices, however, remained static last week maintaining their previous high.
Broiler chicken sold at Tk 155-165 and layer at Tk 175-185 a kg on Thursday, 6.0-7.0 per cent hike in a week and 18-23 per cent in the past two weeks, disclosed the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.
Market sources said Pakistani and Sonali varieties of chicken, also consumed widely, sold at Tk 270-290 a kg based on size and quality, a hike of Tk 20 a kg in a week and Tk 50-60 in two weeks.
Desi (indigenous) chicken prices were almost static as those were sold at Tk 430-480 a kg depending on different kitchen markets of the city.
Khorshed Alam Jewel, a poultry market analyst, said broiler farm and hatchery owners had been counting losses for two years amid poor rates in the market until the recent hike.
Things were worst during rounds of coronavirus lockdown last year, he told the FE.
As a consequence, almost 30 per cent of broiler farms and hatcheries across the country have remained shut since April 2020, Mr Jewel said.
He said the prices started increasing in recent months amid closure of many farms and a slight rise in demand.
Poultry feed prices have also witnessed a 10-15 per cent hike in the past three months, said Mr Jewel, also editor of farm-based 'Agrinews24.com' portal.
He said prices of day-old chicks jumped to Tk 50-60 apiece from Tk 15-20 three months ago as the number of small-scale hatcheries at upazila level had to stop operation.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said price uptrend of farm chicken would further hit limited-income groups who are already battered with pricey rice, oil and other essentials.
Broiler chicken, farm egg and few cultured fish varieties are the key protein sources for commoners, he mentioned.
Mr Bhuiyan said production costs of farm chicken should be reduced through incentivising farmers to keep prices of broiler meat within the reach of the poor.
Monitoring should be strengthened to stop any artificial price hike as the holy month of Ramadan is approaching, he suggested.
Rice prices remained at their previous high as coarse varieties retailed at Tk 46-50, medium at Tk 54-56 and finer at Tk 65-82 a kg depending on quality.