High Feed Prices Kill Poultry Producers
Rising feed costs, declining consumer demand, and overproduction are negatively impacting United States poultry processors and growers, causing a reduction in overall slaughter of chickens for meat.
In the last year, stock prices of the largest U.S. poultry companies have all declined, including Tyson Foods (68%), Sanderson Farms (21%), and Pilgrim’s Pride (99%). The primary reasons for this decline in the poultry industry include:
- Consumers are dining out less often, particularly at casual sit-down restaurants where chicken is a main item.
- Escalating feed prices.
- Higher fuel and electricity costs.
- Russia’s attempts to curtail imports of U.S. poultry. Russia is the largest export market for U.S. chicken.
As a consequence, processors are having poultry farms increase the interval between starting new flocks, resulting in chicken houses being emptier for long periods. In addition, some processors have scaled back operations to four days per week.