Sri Lanka poultry farmers unable to make open account imports of maize


ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s poultry farmers have so far not been able to make use of open account imports as large feed producers want banks to endorse documents to pay later, President of the All Island Poultry Association Ajith Gunasekera said.

“Even though we are being authorized to import through Open account, banks do not provide endorsement documents,” he said.

“Because of that our importers say they will have to pay the suppliers through unofficial methods which can affect their accounts.”

Large feed millers are unwilling to pay through unofficial means and want banks to endorse documents so that they could be made through D/A terms to be paid later, he said.

However banks were unwilling to do it since there was uncertainty over foreign exchange.

Domestic maize prices rose to around 220 rupees a kilogram pushing up feed prices.

Indian maize prices had fallen from 420 dollars a tonnes to around 375 a tonne, which would allow maize to be sold at around 175 rupees a kilogram if imports took place.

“Initially, we were given the permission to import animal feed under the Indian credit line system. However, that process was a complex process,” Gunasekera said.

“We have to get in touch with the agriculture ministry, the finance ministry and the Indian High Commission when importing animal food and the process itself takes around two months to complete.”

“Even the chance was given to import, it was only from the Indian suppliers. But they were also hesitating, because they were being paid with Indian rupees and not dollars. And the prices were also fluctuating because the process takes a long time period to complete.”

Sri Lanka’s poultry industry is operating under severe constraints because the sector is milked to transfer extra profits money to poultry farmers and maize collectors with import controls and a license raj.

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