Posted: Saturday, April 3, 2021. 11:26 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Belize Poultry Association (BPA) has confirmed that a collective decision has been made to increase prices for poultry beginning after the Easter weekend on Tuesday, April 6.
Breaking Belize News spoke with Armando Cowo, Manager of the Belize Poultry Association (BPA), and confirmed that according to the Association, increased prices for corn and soybean feed led to the increase in prices for the well-used product.
The wholesale price of whole chicken will increase by six (6) cents per pound; prices for chicken parts are to rise by 16 cents, and special chicken (ie. chicken weighing more than 4 lbs) will go up by 10 cents per pound. While the average wholesale prices are to increase by the figures above, the new prices will vary slightly by the company but the BPA notes that the price of chicken at the retail stores should not go up more than the increases mentioned above.
Cowo explained to BBN that the price of corn by the 100 pound sack has gone up from $22-24 to $30, while soybeans are now selling for $62, up from $46-48. In addition, the price of soybean meal/concentrate, one of the main ingredients in poultry feed and which is imported by Belize, has gone up significantly on the world market. Currently, Belize produces about 20% of the soybean it consumes and over 100% of the corn used in Belize.
In July 2020, the country’s largest poultry producer, Quality Poultry Products, had vowed to keep prices stable after offering unprecedented sales of buy two, get one free at the start of national lockdown last April.
Sales like that were due in part to an overstock of processed chicken meat, a result of the abrupt fall in demand from the tourism industry. The Association reported weeks after Quality Poultry’s statement that the industry reduced production in April and May, then ramped back up in June and July, only to meet a shortage caused by the continued tourism slump, a rise in domestic demand, and the closure of the northern border which limited exports.
In an interview with BBN, Cowo highlighted that the price of chicken fluctuates based on the price of feed and that the price increase is only temporary. “As soon as the price of corn and soybean, the main ingredients of poultry feed, goes back down, the price of chicken will go back down as well,” Cowo said.
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