Brazil's poultry industry is facing some of its strongest challenges ever due to inflated feed prices and lack of credit, and the Brazilian Poultry Union, UBABEF, is calling on the government and the public for help.

According to UBABEF, the price of soya on the home market has risen 80 percent over the last six months, while that of corn has increased by 40 percent. These two inputs alone account for 60 percent of its members’ production costs, and these numbers, combined with a lack of credit, have led to some producers taking the only option available to them — stopping production.

Poultry producers are now having to pay on delivery for feed grains, or even prior to delivery, when previously they enjoyed a 40-day payment period. Banks, both public and private, have been tightening credit and creating barriers to business for the sector. UBABEF said that 3.5 million jobs are at risk in the current climate, as are the positions of 16,000 families who form part of integrated operations. Francisco Turra, UBABEF president, has publicly called on the government and state-owned and private banks to intervene immediately to restore access to credit.

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Supermarket price increases  

Research carried out by the Sao Paulo poultry association has found that some supermarkets are taking advantage of the current high feed prices and increasing the prices they charge consumers without passing on any of this increase to producers. According to the study, in some cases, a tray of breast fillets is being sold at 120 percent more than that paid to producers, while whole chickens can be up to 139 percent more expensive. Turra has described the behavior as “unethical.”