THE poultry industry in Zimbabwe recorded a 1% slump in 2016 after producing 74,8 million broiler day old chicks, an industry official statistics revealed. Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairperson, Mr. Solomon Zawe, revealed in an industry update that sales and retentions of day old chicks in 2016 was 74,8 million, being one percent and 5% lower than 2015 and 2014, respectively. He revealed that chick prices continued to decline from a peak of 74 cents per chick in June 2015 to 61 cents in June 2016 and recovered slightly to 63 cents in December 2016. The Chairman for the Zimbabwe poultry association highlighted that the broiler market is relatively firm going toward the end of January 2017 with little to no stockholding. Frozen chicken is retailing at $3, 40 to $3,60/kg and with the imposition of VAT (value-added-tax) of 15% on meat, the formal market is likely to be undercut by the informal live bird market. It has also been reported that the government recently imposed a 15% VAT on all meat products and cereals under Statutory Instrument 20 of 2017.However; the instrument was swiftly shelved following a public outcry, after it triggered price increase in basic commodities. The chairman also revealed that the market for day old chicks (DOC’s) declined by between 15 and 20% due to low income and the increase in price of feed. The retail and wholesale prices for DOC’s are $65 and $70/100 chicks, respectively. Mr. Zawe has been quoted indicating that the number of birds processed and broiler meat production in the formal sector in 2016 was 2% lower and 6% higher than 2015 and 2014, while the average live-weight decreased by six percent from 1,90kg/bird in 2015 to 1,78kg/bird in 2016. It has also been reported that broiler meat production trends were similar to the past 3 years and in 2016, increased to 3 719mt in June before crashing to 2 498mt in August. The increased production in the middle of the year culminated in stockholding of 1,759mt which contributed to the decline in prices and triggering subsequent crash in production. He has also been quoted highlighting that the dramatic fluctuations in production have been partly attributed to grey imports over the period April to October each year. On the poultry meat prices, it has been highlighted that producer and wholesale prices remained soft and were 7 to 9% lower than prices in 2015.Total broiler meat production in 2016, inclusive of informal production (based on day-old chick sales), was estimated to be 118 000mt, with 70% from the smallholder sector.