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German poultry association demands high prices for poultry meat

20 August 2018

GERMANY - Earlier this month, ZDG Central Association of the German poultry industry demanded higher prices for poultry meat to compensate for increased feed costs. German poultry and egg producers say a price increase is not urgent, but it could be in the near future

Words Melanie Epp

The organisation pointed to a 25 percent increase in raw material costs over the past few weeks, saying that the increase is causing great difficulty for German poultry farmers. The ongoing drought in northern and eastern Germany has led to crop failure on a massive scale and, as a result, prices for compound feed have risen dramatically. Wheat, for example, which is an integral part of the diet of chickens and turkey, has seen a 25 percent price increase over the previous year. Prices, said ZDG, are likely to continue to climb.

Since feed costs make up the majority of production costs for chicken and turkey producers, the consequences are obvious, said the organisation. Producers and marketers cannot stay at higher costs, said Thomas Storck, Chairman of the Association of German Turkey Producers (VDP) and Rainer Wendt, Chairman of the Federal Association of Rural Chicken Producers (BVH). Producers and marketers cannot be left to pay the higher costs alone, they said, especially since they are based on extreme weather conditions that are beyond their control.

The two associations’ chairmen thus demand that food retailers increase their purchase payments. “Consumers should be ready to pay more for poultry meat,” they said.

German egg producer worries about rising feed costs

Broiler and turkey producers aren’t the only ones impacted by rising feed costs. German egg producers also feel the pinch. Jens Engelken, 37, an egg producer from Lower Saxony, said that by the time he negotiates a new feed contract in October feed costs could rise another 20 percent. Currently a 100kg bag of feed costs €23.50. By October, he said he expects that price to increase to €27–28/100kg.

Engelken raises 36,000 layers in an open aviary system where the hens have access to the outdoors. Right now, he says prices are okay, but he has a contract and egg prices (€0.10/egg) are currently above average. The higher price is to compensate farmers for losses from the fipronil scandal earlier this year, said Engelken. The average is about €0.09/egg, he said.

Depending on prices come October, he may negotiate a six-month feed contract rather than a one-year one. “If we knew what harvest would be then we would know the price for new feed,” said Engelken. “Then we could make a contract for a half or full year.”





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