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Weekly Overview: High Feed Prices, Trade Agreements Hit Poultry Farming Profits

01 May 2014

GLOBAL - Feed ingredient prices are down from their peak but feed costs continue to hit farmers' margins in countries across the world, according to reports in the last week's news, writes Jackie Linden. Some of the large poultry companies, on the other, have reported improving results.

Delaware is one of the leading broiler-producing areas in the United States but new national statistics show that while chicken output grew slightly in 2013 and production value jumped 23 per cent, high grain and energy prices blunted growers' returns last year.

In Bangalore, India, local players in the poultry business in Koramangla report experiencing a tough period with slow business and margins severely hit by high feed prices.

Chicken producers in Pakistan, however, are blaming unfair competition resulting from Free Trade Agreements with Malaysia and China for their financial woes.

More positive news came from Russia, where Cherkizovo reports sales for its pork, poultry and grain divisions higher in the first quarter of the year.

In Mexico, the CEO of Industrias Bachoco commented in the latest quarterly report that sales volume increased compared to the first quarter of 2013. Although prices of the company's products declined, a decrease in the price of raw materials more than offset the price reduction and resulted in an improvement in the operating performance of the company.

BRF of Brazil also reported good poultry meat sales growth in the most recent quarter.

A session on injurious pecking in poultry and measures to address the issue was among the highlights of a poultry science meeting this week.

The annual meeting of the UK branch of the World's Poultry Science Association in Nottingham began with a focus on poultry nutrition, followed by the session on pecking - particularly laying hens - and the current status of beak trimming, which is already banned in some European Union countries and looks likely to cease in the UK in the coming years.

And finally, turning to bird flu news, South Korea has reported three new outbreaks of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian flu in poultry over the last month. A low-pathogenic avian flu virus was identified last week as the cause of increased mortality in a commercial flock of Japanese quail in California, US.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock

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