Ban could push up prices during festival

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2007, 12:00am

Wholesale prices for poultry could rise by as much as HK$10 a catty (600 grams) during the Mid-Autumn Festival next week as local farmers withhold stocks following a partial ban on poultry from Guangdong.

Health chief York Chow Yat-ngok announced on Monday a three-week ban on poultry and egg imports from farms within a 24km radius of Xinzao town, in Panyu district.

Hong Kong Poultry Wholesalers Association chairman Tsui Ming-tuen said New Territories chicken farmers had already reduced supplies. He said they were saving their stock for the festive period, when a rise in demand could see wholesale prices surge by as much as HK$10 a catty from the usual HK$17 a catty.

There were 30,000 live chickens on the market yesterday, about 8,000 to 10,000 less than usual, Mr Tsui said. Wholesale prices rose about 30 per cent to HK$25 at one stage at the Cheung Sha Wan wholesale market.