Dark meat chicken prices dropped on average by a penny a day during the week of October 14, and Sanderson Farms CEO Joe Sanderson Jr. suspects the recent battles in Congress and the government shutdown may have something to do with it. Sanderson made those remarks on October 18 during the Sanderson Farms 2013 Investor Day.

"I don't know why dark meat has declined; there seems to be plenty of product in inventory across the globe," said Sanderson. "Domestically, we think maybe this government shutdown has tamped down demand a bit."


Sanderson said during this time of year, it's very unusual for retail clients to be low on dark meat. Ordinarily, Sanderson Farms is sold out on dark meat and wings almost every week, he said, but during the week when prices declined, there has been "a little bit of dark meat in excess."

A similar scenario occurred in August 2011, when the federal government was fighting about the debt ceiling increase. Sanderson said officials from his company believe major economic disputes in Washington, like those two, can impact prices.