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Chicken price war between supermarts hurting smaller stallholders

By Lynda Hong, Channel NewsAsia
26 July 2007

SINGAPORE: Major supermarkets have been slashing prices for chicken since February, with the price war heating up in the past one to two months.

Consumers are naturally not complaining, but the huge reduction in prices has hurt stallholders at wet markets.

Supermarkets are selling whole chickens for S$2.50 – a price that was previously unheard of, said the Poultry Merchants Association of Singapore.

With such rock-bottom prices, consumers are ignoring the stalls at the wet markets, where a whole chicken, weighing 1 to 1.3 kg, is going for about S$4.

Chen Kim Soon, a chicken seller at a wet market, said: "Currently, our business has decreased by about 10 to 20 percent. If the business gets worse and we suffer losses, I may consider giving up my stall."

Supermarkets in Singapore have a 40 percent market share when it comes to chickens.

And these big players were said to have pressured slaughter houses to sell a whole chicken, weighing 1 to 1.3 kg, at S$2.30 – way below the cost price of S$3.60.

This has reportedly caused slaughter houses to lose up to S$65,000 a day.

If they continue to bleed, owners of slaughter houses said they would either switch to selling cooked chickens or merge in order to have a stronger voice within the poultry industry.

- CNA/so

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