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Eustice warns chicken price could spike 30%

Chicken on a slaughterline

DEFRA secretary George Eustice has warned that the price of chicken could spike by 30% because of rising feed prices.

Wheat has jumped in price from already record highs because of the war in Ukraine.

See also: Record chicken production in 2022 so far

Shipments of wheat and other important agricultural commodities, such as maize, from the Black Sea ports have effectively stopped, whether from Ukraine, Russia, and even Romania.

Wheat has been the worst affected of all the major international commodities, whether agricultural or industrial, and a continuing upward trend is expected.

Speaking at the Food and Drink Federation’s annual conference earlier this week, Mr Eustice said chicken meat was particularly exposed to inflationary pressures.

Cost pressure

“[Poultry integrators] have a situation where feed costs account for around half of their input costs, and they’re seeing a cost pressure of around 20%-30%. At some point, that’s got to feed through the system,” the Independent reports.

2 Sisters’ chief executive Ronald Kers has warned that food inflation could hit 15% by the summer.

The British Poultry Council’s chief executive, Richard Griffiths, said: Since the beginning of the conflict, we have seen millions of pounds added to the weekly cost of chicken feed due to the disruption in the global wheat market.

“Combine that with the expense of mitigating Brexit barriers, a shortage of labour, and bird flu challenges. We have a cost that has to land somewhere.”