A WATT-Rennier Poultry Confidence Index survey poll (take the new survey) shows that 82% of respondents identified ‘grain prices’ as the top issue for the U.S. poultry industry for the remainder of 2011 and early 2012 (see chart). The regulatory environment, the general economy and bird health/diseases were essentially tied as the third-most important issue.

The dominance of grain prices is not a surprise given its importance on costs and profitability and sustained, historically-high grain prices. Protein supply and demand was selected by nearly 50% of the respondent as this factor heavily impacts profitability in a commodity-like market.

Although grain prices have been high for several years, this issue’s importance has jumped tremendously since May 2010 (see graph). Bird health/disease has also increased in importance over this time, but to a lesser extent. The export market and the general economy have substantially declined in importance over this same time period.


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