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Chicken output set to decline as cost of feed rises

THE PHILIPPINES will likely produce fewer chickens in the coming months with numbers reduced by pricier, lower-quality feed and poor weather, an industry leader said — a slowdown that could drive food costs higher.

Raising poultry will be “very challenging” in the coming months, said United Broiler Raisers’ Association President Elias Jose Inciong, as producers in the Southeast Asian nation compete with the rest of the world for chicken feed, as the war in Ukraine disrupts supplies.

Across Southeast Asia, food costs are rising, hitting domestic supplies and exports. Malaysia recently banned chicken exports due to rising local prices and that hit poultry supplies in neighboring Singapore.

In the Philippines, the cost issue is compounded by high humidity that’s unfavorable to growing chickens, as rainy season came earlier this year. “Normally, the answer to high humidity would be very good nutrition. The problem is it’s now more difficult to get good-quality feeds because of the high cost of raw materials,” Mr. Inciong said in a phone interview on Thursday.

Whole chicken prices in Manila have risen by 25% to P200 ($3.75) since the start of the year, Agriculture department data showed. Meat price increases quickened by 5.4% in May, boosting overall inflation to its fastest since November 2018.

Higher chicken prices could, however, ultimately boost production, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes told The Philippine Star. The Philippines’ total chicken output fell by 3.6% last year to 1.7 million metric tons. — Bloomberg

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