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2021-12-08

Festive season poultry likely to cost a wing and a thigh

Chicken prices are expected to soar over the festive season, figures from ChickenFacts and the National Agricultural Marketing Council indicate, impacted by the cost of chicken feed, droughts, avian flu, South Africa’s recent civil unrest, the prices of fuel and increased tariffs on chicken imports.
Banele Ginindza | IOL

This as the price of chicken fillets in South Africa is below only that of Libya and Mauritius in a comparison with other African countries, which reflect a much lower price tag.

In a peek at festive prices for poultry in different markets, figures adjusted for the exchange rate as of October 18, and for conversion from imperial to metric, point to a kilogram of chicken fillets in Thailand being at R31.84, in South Africa R72.48, Mauritius higher at R79.55, Nigeria R57.34, Zimbabwe charging R65.26, while Libya’s is the highest at R113.55.

According to the data, between quarter three of 2021 and quarter two of 2021, retail prices for chicken portions fresh per kg, 2kg IQF (individual quick freezing) chicken, chicken portions frozen non-IQF and chicken giblets had increased by 10 percent, 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

The real farm value share of fresh whole chicken increased by 15.76 percent between August and October 2021, while the real Real Farm to Retail Price Spread (FTRPS) of fresh whole chicken decreased on average by 23.32 percent from R25.31/kg during the same period.

Between October 2020 and October 2021, the real FTRPS increased by 44.23 percent from R39.15/kg to R56.46/kg and the real farm value share decreased by 41.58 percent from 33.23 percent to 19.41 percent.

“It is concerning that poultry prices have risen above inflation for the last 10 years. The main conclusion from this is that the price of chicken and chicken products should be of major concern, and that the poultry industry should be investigating ways to open up the industry to new players, address concerns around the shortages of feed, and encourage access to markets for exports,” ChickenFacts, the fact-checking website and research portal, said in a report compiled for November on the eve of the festive season.

It said the latest shock for consumers, just before the festive season, is the surge in the petrol price to historic highs.

“A rise in the fuel price causes a ripple effect through the economy. The most important aspect to our lives is the price of food. And in the case of poultry, the price of chicken is a major concern as it is our most popular and affordable protein and a mainstay of the food basket for middle-to-low income consumers,” the report said.

The report cites that in March 2020 the South African government increased poultry tariffs from 37 percent to 62 percent on bone-in chicken portions and the hike in frozen boneless chicken cuts from 12 percent to 42 percent.

“South African chicken meat imports have had no impact on the latest poultry price hikes. South African chicken meat imports are expected to decline due to March 2020 import duty increases.

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“Chicken meat imports fill the local supply gap and contribute to feeding the nation,” the report said, in advocating for a wider opening of the market.

 


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