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Indonesia scrambles to toss millions of eggs and boost chicken prices

Indonesia scrambles to toss millions of eggs and boost chicken prices

File photo of chicken eggs. (Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

JAKARTA: Indonesia is set to get cracking on a plan to destroy millions of eggs in a bid to prop up slumping chicken prices, calling on poultry breeders to cut supply by either destroying them or giving them away.

"The only way we can do something about it is by discarding 10 million ... eggs," said I Ketut Diarmita, director general of Livestock and Animal Health Services.

Officials hope reducing the number of eggs will cut chicken supplies and boost market prices.

Indonesia has been producing more chicken than it consumes, putting pressure on prices. But while cheap chicken may be good for consumers, it has dug its claws into the poultry industry.

Prices have tanked 25 per cent this year to 30,050 rupiah (US$2.10) per kg, the lowest in three years, according to official figures.

Dozens of firms are expected to take part in destroying the eggs, according to the Indonesia Poultry Breeding Association.

In June, Indonesia gave poultry breeders a two-week period to cull about 3 million chickens to prop up plunging prices.

Breeders had increased chicken production to cash in on an expected upturn in demand during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holidays, but the Agriculture Ministry said the demand did not turn out as expected.

In response, the government has told farmers to cull 68-week old chickens over a two-week period until Jul 9, the Agriculture Ministry had said in a statement.

Chicken farmers have been complaining that live bird prices have been below a government floor price of 18,000 rupiah per kg and cost of production for months.

The government sets a floor and ceiling price for several staple foods, including chicken and corn.

Indonesia produced 3.6 million tonnes of chicken meat in 2018, but only consumed 3.1 million tonnes, agriculture ministry data showed.

Source: AGENCIES/zl


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