The average farm-gate price of broilers has halted a two-week skid after it rose by more than 10 percent and breached the P120-per-kilogram price level anew.
Latest United Broiler Raisers Association (Ubra) data showed that as of March 12, the average farm-gate prices of broilers across three different sizes were above P120 per kg.
The average price of off-sized broiler rose by 11.31 percent to P121.33 per kg, from P109 per kg, while regular-sized broiler averaged P121.67 per kg, 11.11 percent higher than the previous week’s P109.5 per kg, based on Ubra data.
Ubra data also indicated that the average farm-gate price of prime-sized broilers went up by 12.33 percent to P121.81 per kg, from P108.44 per kg recorded on March 5.
The average price of day-old chicks remained at P48 apiece.
“Apparently, the loading last month was conservative. Probably a reaction to the price ceiling,” Ubra President Elias Jose Inciong told the BusinessMirror when asked why farm-gate prices rose after a two-week decline.
“In this case, it was expected that there will be some withdrawal from production because of the price ceiling given the cost of inputs.”
At the prevailing farm-gate prices, the suggested retail price for chicken meat would reach P185 per kg to P186 per kg, sans the price cap.
The government has decided, however, to continue implementing the price cap on pork and chicken meat in Metro Manila until April 8. Chicken meat sold in Metro Manila markets should not exceed P160 per kg, as per the price cap.
Latest Department of Agriculture (DA) price monitoring report as of March 12 showed that the price of dressed chicken in Metro Manila ranges from P160 per kg to P200 per kg.
The DA has earlier formed a technical working group (TWG) to address the concerns of the broiler industry. Its tasks include the collation and analysis of data on supply and demand of chicken meat.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued Special Order (SO) 197 dated March 3 which authorized the creation of the TWG for broiler concerns.
Under the SO, the TWG would be chaired by Bureau of Animal Industry Assistant Director for Production and Research Officer in Charge Rene C. Santiago.
The members of the TWG are Dr. Roland Fajardo, Dr. Jonathan Sabiniano, Alvin Dirain and Mark Villatema.
Dar has instructed the TWG to collate and analyze data related to the broiler sector, including broiler meat supply and demand and the cost of producing poultry.
The TWG is also tasked to develop plans and programs to operationalize the DA broiler sector road map and is responsible for the “coordination and consultation with concerned stakeholders in addressing concerns of the broiler sector.”
The TWG will also “spearhead the development of policy recommendations for the sector in collaboration with relevant DA offices and agencies,” according to the SO.
The broiler industry is reeling from the decline in demand for chicken meat from the hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) segment, which accounts for about 30 percent of total demand, due to movement restrictions imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19.
The loss of the HRI segment has resulted in a supply glut and pulled down farm-gate prices last year, forcing some broiler raisers and even breeders to reduce output or to stop broiler production.
Currently, the industry is seeing record-high prices of day-old chicks, which have reached P50 apiece due to the lack of breeder supply.