Mar 23, 2008

Chickens Can No Longer Afford to Eat Corn

For consumers, retail prices for broiler products is up 10% over the last year.  For a company whose revenue in 2007 was $7.6 billion, a rise in costs of $1.3 billion ain't chicken feed.

Bloomberg news reports:

``Our company and industry are struggling to cope with unprecedented increases in feed-ingredient costs this year due largely to the U.S. government's ill-advised policy of providing generous federal subsidies to corn-based ethanol blenders,'' Chief Executive Officer J. Clint Rivers said in the statement.

The price of soybean meal in Chicago rose to $392.90 per 2,000 pounds, the highest since 1973, on March 3 and has gained more than 50 percent in the past year.

``Based on current commodity futures markets, our company's total costs for corn and soybean meal to feed our flocks in fiscal 2008 would be more than $1.3 billion higher than what they were two years ago,'' Rivers said.