Meat, fish prices remain stable despite civil servant pay rise

A chicken vendor at a market in Yangon’s suburbs. With an increase in chicken consumption domestically, production has seen a 20-percent  increase since two years ago, Myanmar Livestock Federation says.  Photo: Ye Myint
A chicken vendor at a market in Yangon’s suburbs. With an increase in chicken consumption domestically, production has seen a 20-percent increase since two years ago, Myanmar Livestock Federation says. Photo: Ye Myint

Yangon, 29 April—Civil servant pay rises instituted this month have yet to impact commodity prices, with no significant change to the cost of meat and fish products before and after Myanmar’s New Year Festival, vendors at a suburban market in Yangon said Wednesday.
Market observers predicted an increase in consumer prices following the government’s announcement that it would increase salaries for civil servants across the country.
“Since the end of the water festival, fish and meat have been selling at the usual prices…moving up and down slightly based on stocks available in the market,” said a fish and meat vendor at a market in Insein, in the northern part of the city.
U Win Kyaing, general secretary of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation at the body’s weekly meeting Tuesday said fish production levels and exchange rates would have a greater impact on prices than the salary increase.
“Low production in coastal and freshwater fisheries, higher local consumption, increased tourist numbers, export levels, and the upcoming closed fishing season, from June to August, are likely to affect fish prices,” he said.
However, farmed fish stocks could satisfy the market demand, keeping prices stable, he added.
In order to maintain fish price stability, the general secretary called for relaxation of fishing control during the annual three-month fishing ban and called for exchange rate stability.
The Myanmar Livestock Federation said chicken, pork and beef prices remain stable, as there has been more breeding of poultry this year due to the prevention of avian influenza outbreaks last year that caused heavy losses to breeders.
An MLF official said buying and selling may keep chicken prices stable thanks to the establishment of more foreign and locally backed feed mills in conjunction with broiler farms.
At market, chicken cuts are priced at K 6,000 per viss while pork and beef are selling at K 5,500 and K 10,000 respectively, according to meat retailers.
According to sources, the difference in chicken price between the farm and the vendors is around K 2,500 as farm price is at K 3,600 while vendor price is at K6, 000 and more per viss.
Regarding the price gap from farms to the markets, another MLF official stressed the need of establishing processing plants that could help breeders generate more capacities and reduce production cost.
“Efforts to narrow the gap are reaching a favourable stage at the moment,” added the official.
Fishery producers and exporters at the meeting said the  fall in the country’s fishery exports that earned only US$420 million in the previous fiscal, roughly $100 million less than a year earlier, was due to higher local consumption, not because of lower demand from the foreign market.
“Surplus is sold for export after local consumption has been satisfied,” said U Myo Nyunt, joint secretary of a Myanmar fishery product processors and exporters association. Consumption of foreign visitors to the country was also another reason for a fall in fishery exports, he added. — GNLM

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