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#444925 - 08/21/12 07:55 AM Belizeans to See A Rise in the Poultry Price
Marty Offline

Chicken is one of the staples in most kitchens. On Tuesday, the price of chicken will increase, but only for some of the distributors.

A quick check today revealed that the price of one of the ingredients used to produce chicken feed has gone up, resulting in the price adjustment of about ten cents more per pound. But while some distributors will increase their rates, others whose prices are already higher than their competitors are contemplating whether they will pass on the difference to their customers.


#444980 - 08/22/12 08:52 AM Re: Belizeans to See A Rise in the Poultry Price [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Shake your tail feather; chicken price gone up!

Two dollars and thirty eight cents would have bought you a pound of chicken on Monday, but not today; the price for the favorite protein on dinner tables is now two dollars and forty-eight cents per pound. It is anticipated that the increase in chicken prices will be across the board; for Quality Poultry Products, that increase took effect today. Peter Letkeman, Branch Manager in Belize City, says that almost all their chicken products will see a hike in prices by as much as twelve cents. According to Letkeman, the short of it is that the prices are pushed up by the increasing costs of commodities across the world, including the rising prices in corn as a direct result of the drought that scorched millions of acres of crops.

Peter Letkeman, Branch Manager, Quality Poultry Product

Peter Letkeman

“Yeah, we went up ten cents a pound on whole chicken today and about twelve cents a pound on most parts. I mean there couple pieces that didn’t go up, like bones didn’t go up; but most things went up so. It is something that just has to happen because of commodity prices across the world. The United States is experiencing a severe drought and that has pushed the price of the soy bean meal up; just about double it in the last three months and corn has gone from twenty-four cents a pound up to thirty-four cents a pound and fuel prices; I mean everybody knows about them and those are the three commodities that the chickens are dependent on, so considering that we had no choice but to go up with the price. Hopefully, hopefully commodity prices come back down so that this can stay where it is now.”

Andrea Polanco

“Now chicken is a staple in the Belizean diet; what have your customers been saying since, today?”

Peter Letkeman

“Well, yuh know, nobody is happy about the price hikes. Most people so far have understood that it just has to happen but nobody is happy about price hike. I wish, for me, I am in the sales end of the business and for me to hear from the head offices that the price is going up; it’s not a very good thing, but if we want to remain in business. If you look at the price of beef, fish, pork and just about everything else compare that to the chicken, you’ll see that the price of chicken is still far, far cheaper and hopefully Belizeans will not feel the pinch too much.”

Andrea Polanco

“Now, Quality Poultry Products is just about the largest producer of chicken in Belize, but customers should know that this is something being applied across the board?”

Peter Letkeman

“Well yes, we do not deal that much with our competitors but as far as I understand this has to happen across the board. I expect other suppliers will follow suit.”

The price of butane gas went up last week and now the rising prices of chicken will surely make dinner less affordable.

Channel 5

#445081 - 08/24/12 08:53 AM Re: Belizeans to See A Rise in the Poultry Price [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Chicken gone up 10 cents/lb

Chicken has superseded fish, beef, and even pigtails as Belizeans’ primary source of meat protein. So when Quality Poultry Ltd, one the largest producers of chicken in the country, announced its product had gone up by 10 cents per pound, from $2.38 to $2.48/on Tuesday August 21, the man on the street immediately felt the bite in his pocket.

The price increase was across the board, as the Belize Poultry Producers’ Association decided on the price hike.

Henry Dueck, who sits on the Board of Directors of Quality Poultry, explained they try to keep the price of chicken as low as possible, because they know how much Belizeans like chicken, but external market forces have forced their hand.

The price of imported soy bean meal, which is added to chicken feed, has gone up $10.00 per 100lb bag.

Belize produces soy beans, but local farmers simply cannot achieve the economies of scale of large, mechanized farms in the United States or Brazil, so the imported product has always been cheaper than locally grown soy bean.

Whether it’s a result of global warming or not, the United States has experienced a severe drought this year, with disastrous effects on several crops, including soy bean, corn and wheat, and U.S. consumers are already bracing for an increase in food prices.

According to CEO Jose Alpuche of the Ministry of Agriculture, Belize is entirely self-sufficient in corn production. In fact, Belize normally produces a surplus, which is exported, so Belizean chicken farmers cannot claim the price of imported corn has gone up. But neither corn, poultry nor soy bean is price controlled. The price of these commodities on the Belize market is determined entirely by market forces.

In the case of local corn, there has traditionally been an informal export trade into Guatemala. Prices in Guatemala tend to follow the international prices offered at the New York Board of Trade or the Chicago Board of Trade, so when the price of corn in Guatemala is 34 cents per pound, the Belizean farmer will understandably ask local buyers to match that price; or else it would profit him more to sell his corn ac in Guatemala.

What has happened to corn prices is the same thing that has happened to conch and bony fish, all once abundantly available and cheap, affordable food for poor people.

The producers found an export market which offered much better prices, and this in turn drove up the price on the local market. The recent national drive to certify Belize cattle to be eligible for legal export to Mexico may have a similar effect on the local price of beef, when Belize’s cattle ranchers begin to legally export their livestock to Mexico.

But on the matter of the increase in the price of chicken, Alpuche said, the Belize poultry producers had not informed or even consulted with the Ministry of Agriculture before announcing the price increase.

While he was aware of the external forces which caused the price of soy bean meal and corn to shoot up, he did not see a direct correlation of how a price increase per pound in the price of soy bean meal should translate into a 10-cent increase per pound in the price of the end product, chicken!

The Quality Chicken wholesale outlet on North Front Street, near the Bel-China bridge in Belize City announced the new price was $2.48 per pound for a whole chicken, and that their other products: chicken breast, chicken parts on a tray would also show a similar increase.

But a check at “Bottom Dollar” a few blocks down North Front Street, where Belizean are supposed to “stretch their dollars”, showed that Quality Poultry’s whole chicken was $2.65/lb, so was Fiesta chicken, while Caribbean chicken was $2.70/lb. T

There were no eggs on the shelves, but since chickens also lay eggs, an increase in the price of a dozen eggs may also not be long in coming.

The Reporter


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