Sri Lanka poultry firms in the red on higher costs, weaker sales

Mar 01, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Grain Elevators, which has interests in feed-milling, hatchery and poultry meat said it lost 229 million rupees in the December 2012 quarter on weak sales and higher costs. The group reported a loss of 2.82 rupees per share for the quarter, in accounts filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange.

In the year to December the group reported earnings of 2.44 rupees per share on profits of 134 million rupees, down from 346 million rupees a year earlier.

Chairman Cheng Chih Kwong, Primus told shareholders the group was hit by higher energy costs, a depreciated rupee and weak demand.

Its subsidiary, Three Acre Farms said demand for day old chicks fell and it started culling parent birds early.

Sri Lanka’s poultry farms operate amid heavy state interventions where the consumer affairs authority controls selling prices and imports of feed such as maize is taxed to ‘help the farmer’ putting small chicken farmers out of business when there is an economic downturn.

Analysts have warned that such autarkist policies were worsening protein malnutrition, especially in young children of poor families, as high maize prices tends to push up poultry prices.

The cons