LAHORE - The poultry prices have witnessed a jump of around Rs 50 per kg within a week, as chicken meat rate has reached Rs 170 from Rs 120 during the period on the back of prevailing massive demand and supply gap in the market. The All Pakistan Poultry Association (APPA) has fixed the live bird wholesale rate for Saturday at Rs 106 whereas it would be sold for Rs 112 on retail. Likewise, the chicken meat price has been declared as Rs 167 per kg. The rates of table eggs would be Rs 1,590 per box of 360 eggs whereas its retail price would be Rs 55 per dozen. During the survey conducted by The Nation it was observed that chicken meat at most of the markets and bazaars was available in the range of Rs 170 to Rs 180, instead of Rs 167 fixed by the poultry association. The same commodity was being offered at Rs 120 per kg during the last week. Market sources said that poultry traders had their own way of charging the rate in their respective areas and they do not bother to follow the rates fixed by the poultry association. Major (r) Javed Bukhari of the Pakistan Poultry Association attributed this unprecedented rise in chicken rates to the prevailing massive demand and supply gap in the market pushing its prices beyond the purchasing power of common consumers. He linked the price-hike to the short supply as many farms suffered huge loss few months back, adding the prices of poultry were always fixed on the basis of demand and supply. He said that chicken sales during the last fortnight was far lower as they were receiving orders only from roadside food points and fast food restaurants while the consumers response was lukewarm Bukhari said in many parts of the City, poultry meat was being sold at Rs167 per kg. Some 30 per cent farms had been closed down in the last four to six months after the farmers suffered huge loss as the prices went lower than the cost of production. He said the cost of production had surged after rising feed prices. Besides, increase in labour charges along with the rising transportation cost had further pushed up the cost of production, he maintained. A poultry retailer said that majority of the consumers were finding it difficult to cope with the enormous increase of chicken meat, which was going beyond their purchasing capacity. A chicken buyer pointed out that in the absence of any check on poultry rates by the city government, the association enjoy a free hand in dealing with the chicken rates. Neither the federal nor the provincial government has so far intervened to check the rising rates of poultry, he added.