South African chicken producer Astral Foods has cut 150 jobs due to reduced production caused by high grain prices, according to the company. Further cutbacks and retrenchments are likely, said Astral Foods chief executive Chris Schutte.
Local grain prices reached a record in July due to the drought in the U.S. Midwest, and imports are at an all-time high, according to reports. Other poultry producers might have to cut jobs as companies struggled to pass expenses onto consumers, said the SA Poultry Association. “Some of them have already retrenched, but they are planning to retrench in the order of 3,000 people over the next month or so,” said association chief executive Kevin Lovell. “Disposable incomes are stretched...as much as we know we need to raise prices, we also know that the chances of being able to do that are rather limited.”