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Higher costs holding back chicken production


CHICKEN production growth was at the lower end of the expected range in the second quarter as poultry farmers grapple with higher production costs, an industry official said.

“The usual growth for the poultry sector is 3% to 7% a year. The 3.3% posted for the second quarter is at the low end of the range. It’s not a big deal in term of achievement but a cause for concern,” United Broiler Raisers Association President Elias Jose M. Inciong said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported last week that chicken production rose 3.3% to 477.76 thousand metric tons on a liveweight basis.

The factors affecting production intentions, Mr. Inciong said in a phone interview, are the higher cost of inputs.

“The cost of production is high, because the raw materials for feed remain costly,” he said.

He added that feed ingredients like corn, soya, and feed wheat were at record levels, while coconut oil remained expensive.

Additionally, Mr. Inciong said competition from imports was also discouraging domestic producers.

In the seven months to July, imports of chicken rose 17.4% to 249.37 million kilos, accounting for about 35% of all meat imports during the period.

Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. President Danilo V. Fausto said in a Viber message that the farmgate price of chicken needs to rise to encourage farmers to produce more.

For the second quarter, the farmgate price of chicken averaged P134.13 per kilogram, up 2.4% from a year earlier.

 As of June 30, the PSA said the national chicken inventory rose 2.8% from a year earlier to 200.21 million birds.  — Adrian H. Halili

Neil Banzuelo

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