Significant increases in the cost of grains used in poultry feed "are having a negative impact on the cost of poultry production around the world, and will inevitably lead to higher prices of poultry meat in the global marketplace," said a statement released by the International Poultry Council (IPC) at its annual meeting.
According to the IPC, higher costs of grains like wheat, corn, soybeans and barley cannot be absorbed by the poultry industry alone and must be passed along to the consumer in the form of higher poultry prices. In the last four months, the cost of corn and wheat has risen by roughly 50%, while the cost of soybean meal has risen by 20%. A drought in Russia, too much rain in the U.S. and a planting delay in Brazil have all been contributing factors to these numbers.
On the upside, says the IPC, improved weather conditions in 2011 could bring grain prices back down; in the meantime, while poultry prices will rise, they will not be impacted as heavily as other meat prices due to poultry's inherent efficiencies in feed conversion ratios.