Fresh chicken a scarce commodity in Qatar again

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Shabina S. Khatri / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Fresh chicken is apparently once again in high demand and short supply in Qatar, with residents reporting that they haven’t seen poultry on supermarket shelves in days.

Employees at Carrefour, Lulu, Family Food Center and other stores in Qatar said they have either not received shipments of fresh chicken over the past couple days, or sold out very quickly.

Watania chicken

Watania

Watania chicken

Most of the poultry sold in Qatar – both fresh and frozen – is imported, as domestic supplies are too low to meet growing demand.

Because of this, the availability of stock is more susceptible to outside forces. However, it is unclear as to why chicken has been in short supply lately.

The Peninsula reports traders as saying there may have been supply disruptions.

Speaking to Doha News, an employee at Monoprix said that the store did not receive shipments of either imported or domestic poultry this morning.

And an employee at Family Food Center said that the store on Nasser St. received a small shipment this morning, but it was sold very quickly. He added that more might be available tomorrow morning.

Shoring up supply

This is not the first time that Qatar has seen a fresh chicken shortage.

Two years ago, Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary ban on the export of all poultry products. The move was an effort to supply its own domestic markets and stabilize prices.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

April Younglove / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

To make up for the shortfall at the time, Qatar began importing chicken from Bulgaria.

But this year, the government has signaled intentions to establish a new chicken farm complex that would nearly quadruple the amount of poultry produced here.

The facility would be partly funded by the private sectors, and investors have apparently already committed some QR750 million ($206 million), with an IPO possible by next year.

Have you had trouble finding fresh chicken in Qatar lately? Thoughts?

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