Chicken prices increase

Chickens feed at a Carlsen Field farm. - Photo by Angelo Marcelle
Chickens feed at a Carlsen Field farm. - Photo by Angelo Marcelle

THE price of chicken has increased, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), by almost 19 cents.

With the reopening of the food sector, one establishment, KFC, already changed its pricing structure on some of its meals such as the Big Deal and Boss Meal which increased by $2.05.

The MTI’s website posted that for the month of June the average price per pound of chicken was $7.33 while for May, it was $7.14. The average price per pound referred to is the “live" price which is the price before the chicken was killed, plucked and gutted.

It said, “As part of its mandate to ensure fair pricing in the marketplace, the Consumer Affairs Division has been collecting live poultry prices from a sample of poultry depots throughout Trinidad. The prices reflected prices collected June 25 to 27.”

There were no updates for July.

For the year so far, in February and July, owing to trade effects from the pandemic such as freight costs, shipping lanes, containers and demurrage, the rise of corn and soybean meal prices, and shocks from China and the US, have affected feed prices twice.

The rippling effect has led increases in the price of eggs, poultry and other poultry by-products.

Chairman of Global Brands Group of Companies, which owns Church's Chicken, Mario Sabga-Aboud said they too have no choice but to increase prices on items on their menu by ten per cent.

"We will be raising soon, we have no choice. Everything has gone up drastically so we have to raise it within the next few weeks. Our suppliers are raising their prices and while this is not the right time to raise prices on anything, they said they would work with us, so there will be incremental increases.

"Within the next few weeks we will do a transition from two per cent to five per cent to ten per cent. A lot things have increased in the world economy such as freight," Sabga-Aboud said.

Mastermix general manager Hamant Mahabir, one of the local suppliers of feed and live chickens, said the company is trying its best.

He said the company increased prices the first time around for feed and has not done so again, but will be monitoring the global market before deciding their next move.

Mahabir said they however had no choice but to increase the price for live chickens which are sold mainly to poultry depots.

“I have not adjusted prices for feed and have no plan to do so in the near future. Our secondary operation is the supply of live broilers to the market and pluck shops because we do not have processing facilities. Price on the live market fluctuates on a weekly basis, so over time we have adjusted prices both upward and downward." He explained said feed prices have a direct impact on the price of poultry.

Chicken, Mahabir said, currently sells at $6.90 to $7.20. It was sold at $6.50 to $6.80 a few months ago.

Arawak chickens marketing director Robin Phillips said the company has not increased prices on its processed chicken and chicken products but is also monitoring the global market structure to guide any decision.

“We have not raised our prices. However, the situation with grain and other input costs would mean there would be requirements for price adjustments, but that has not yet been determined.

“We have a lot of chicken in cold storage, so we have to work off a fair bit of that before we do anything. We have a surplus, so we have to work that off.”

On July 1, the National Flour Mills increased feed prices for a second time which ranged from 2.8 per cent to 5.9 per cent, CEO Ian Mitchell said. Attempts to contact Mitchell on Tuesday were unsuccessful up to press time.


"Chicken prices increase"

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