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Broilers & Layers

Chicken producers not counting profits yet, despite favorable costs, demand

July 22, 2013

National Chicken Council chairman Bill Lovette opened the Chicken Marketing Seminar in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, July 22 with a positive tally of what's right in the chicken business right now.

"Chicken prices have risen commensurate with the reductions in supply, wing prices are back on an upward trend, and the demand for boneless chicken breasts is strong," said the CEO of Pilgrim’s Inc. “There's also a real chance for record chicken exports in 2013.

What's more, he said, the U.S. corn crop in the fields now appears to be in good condition

Lovette warned, however, that producers are not counting their end-of-year profits just yet.

“Producers are anticipating a robust corn crop, but the fact is that not a single kernel of corn has been harvested this year. The crop in the fields looks good, but the yield and volume are yet to be determined.”

Supply and demand factors will also exert a big influence on poultry industry profitability for the remainder of 2013

“Cheaper corn prices do not always equal cheaper chicken prices. Nor do cheaper grain prices necessarily lead to higher profitability for poultry producers,” he said. “The supply and demand of poultry has more to do with industry profitability,” he concluded.

Lovette and other poultry producers, nonetheless, have an optimistic outlook now. But they are being careful not to count their profits before they hatch.

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