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October 29, 2022

Poultry Association confirms a 6.5 percent rise in chicken prices effective Monday

ARCHIVE: Poultry facility

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2022. 11:47 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Belize Poultry Association (BPA) says it must make a “necessary” 6.5 percent “adjustment” in prices for chicken effective Monday, October 31.

A statement says that the increase is due to the rise in prices for corn and soybean grains needed to feed animals on farms.

The Association’s manager, Armando Cowo, told LOVE FM they had expected that prices might go down as the harvest came in, but at present average prices are 38 cents per pound for corn and nearly 60 cents for soybeans.

Cowo explained that because of supply contracts for the grains and low margins for profit, it would be impossible for producers to absorb the increased prices into their costs: “What we do is whenever the harvesting season comes, we have to sign contracts with them for supply for the rest of the until the next season comes around. So basically, we buy according to the prices that are in the country at moment so again our grain tanks can only take so much grain but we need to fill them. I think we are the only country in this region that does this because we have the capacity to produce grains but we feed our birds high-quality grains. Countries that import grains don’t get the quality of grains that we have to feed their birds and for that, I guess there’s a price to pay because we don’t have enough storage capacity to say store grains for the whole year. So what is being sold to us now is what we have to go by and we can’t do better.”

As for calculating prices, Cowo explained that the six-and-a-half percent increase is on a per-pound basis – so if a pound of chicken previously cost $2.75 a pound, you should be paying $2.81 wholesale, with added profit markup for retail. But that increase should not be overly generous to the seller, so consumers are being asked to contact the association at 822-3221 or 615-9694 to make queries and get help. Chicken prices are not regulated as are other price-controlled items like sugar and rice, for example. The increase also does not apply to other poultry products such as turkey and eggs, the latter of which rose in price earlier this year.

As Cowo reminds, “The only person who can police the prices out there is the consumer and that is why in the press release we’re trying to help them so if they have queries and so on we want them to call us and we’ll let them know what is what.”

 

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