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Poultry Prices See a Rise Nationwide

Chicken prices have increased and that’s all thanks to the cost of corn and soybean used for chicken feed. Effective today, the retail prices of whole chicken, special chicken and the popular chicken Parts are now seeing that uptick. According to the Manager of the Belize Poultry Association, Armando Cowo whole chicken will sell for six cents more per pound, while chicken parts have increased by sixteen cents per pound. In addition, special chicken has jumped by ten cents per pound. Cowo says that the price increase is across the board.
Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association

Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association: “One is the price of corn and two is the price of soybean. Traditionally at this time of the year we were paying like twenty four or twenty six cents for the pound of corn, right now the price of corn is at thirty cents. Likewise with soy beans at this time of the year we’re paying like forty two to forty six cents per pound and right now the price of soybeans is at sixty two cents per pound. These two grains are the main ingredients that go into the mixing of preparation of feed for poultry. The whole chicken, the one that is normally bought by the regular household is going up by six cents a pound and we normally put on the market an average chicken of between 3.6 to 4 pounds. So even if you get a four pounds we’re looking at two dollars and forty cents more per whole chicken. Then we have the parts like you said which we call the cuts, the ones that are cut up in threes, that’s going up by sixteen cents a pound. We’re trying to offset the cost of – rather than putting everything on the whole chicken we’re just sharing it across the board in parts. And then there’s the ten cents per pound more going up on the special chicken.” 

Cowo says that the Association cannot afford to absorb this year but explains that the price increase is temporary.

Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association: This is by nature cyclical. I mean last year we saw a wave- if you were following the trend in prices last year you would see a wave there were at some point in the year the price went up then it went down back and then it went up a little bit then it finally levelled off. So last year we ended up with an average of two dollars and thirty two cents per pound of chicken but at some point a couple month last year when chicken was selling for like two forty four, two forty two somewhere there per pound. It evens out,  I mean it’s just cyclical and it goes up and it comes down and it goes up and comes down but for this moment at this time frame what we’re doing like I said the price of the grains are too high and we cannot absorb the shock. We really can’t absorb the shock I mean we had a bad year last year as you all know the market fell out and we had to do adjustments and we incurred a lot of losses so we don’t have the cushion to absorb the loss in regards to the grain because normally we would try to cushion the blow but the prices right now are too high for us to be able to cushion the blow.” 

The Association plans to meet with grain farmers in the coming week to see how they can address the issue.