BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

POULTRY feed production fell 19% in quantity to an average of
29 897 tonnes (t) per month in the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year, but increased in terms of value, an official has said.

In an industry update, Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairman Solomon Zawe said poultry feeds continued to dominate the stockfeed industry, with production in Q4 of 2019 averaging 29 897t per month.

In terms of value, it increased by 413% to ZWL$182,8 million.

Zawe said poultry feeds accounted for 62% of all feeds produced by weight and 64% by monetary value.

The production of broiler, layer and breeder feeds were 27% and 5% lower, respectively, than Q4 of 2018.

“Production of poultry concentrates was 19% lower than fourth quarter of 2018, and 12% lower than third quarter of 2019,” he said.

On average, Zawe said prices of raw materials procured in Q4 increased by 179%.

Notable increases were full-fat soya (274%), high CP cotton meal (314%) and roughages (wheat bran (377%), maize bran (337%), screenings (490%) and hay (298%).

“In contrast, fourth quarter prices of feeds on average, increased by 59% compared to third quarter prices. Average weighted wholesale prices of broiler and layer feeds rose by 23% and 39%, respectively, to ZWL$5 961 and ZWL$5 530/mt,” he said.

However, in United States dollar terms (relative to the interbank rate), prices of broiler and layer feeds in December were US$430 and US$383, respectively, being 33% and 22% down on prices in early 2017.

Meanwhile, Zawe said total growing and in-production layer breeder stocks averaged
46 692 birds per month in Q4 of 2019, a decrease of 34% compared with the same period in 2018.

He said production of layer hatching eggs in the fourth quarter averaged 0,7 million eggs per month, a decrease of 19%.

Sexed pullet (layer day-old chicks) production averaged 175 940 per month in the period under review, being an increase of 4% over the same period in 2018, but a reduction of 31% compared with third quarter of 2019.

The average price of sexed pullets rose 42% and peaked at ZWL$12,75 per pullet in December.

However, in US dollar terms, average sexed pullet prices in December were 77c, 35% down on prices in early 2017.