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December 5, 2008
 
Thai Broiler Weekly: Chicken prices plunge as tourist arrivals dip (week ended Dec 4, 2008) 
 
An eFeedLink Exclusive
 
 
Price summary

Chicken prices plummeted this week as demand slackens following a huge drop in tourist arrivals and a worsening economy.
 
This week's survey by the Department of Internal Trade showed the farm price of live chicken falling to THB33-34/kg from THB37-38/kg last week. At public markets in Bangkok, chicken meat prices have dropped to THB62-63/kg from THB64-66/kg a week earlier.
 
But it's not all bad news for poultry growers. Prices of corn, the basic poultry feed ingredient, have also fallen from THB7.30-7.60/kg last week to the current THB7-7.25.
 
 
Market analysis
 
Tourist arrivals went down to zero for one week after anti-government protestors seized Bangkok's two airports, leaving tens of thousands of foreign tourists unable to fly into the country during the peak tourist season. 
 
Tourism is a pillar of the Thai economy, with the country getting 12 to 13 million foreign tourists a year. Hundreds of hotels and restaurants across the country which cater to these tourists are major buyers of chicken.
 
Although the airport sieges have ended, tourist arrivals are almost nil, according to travel industry leaders. In fact, they added, holiday cancellations have been pouring in since the start of the airport crisis, leaving thousands of hotel rooms across the country empty. Some hotels, according to local newspaper reports, have slashed their rates by as much as 80 percent to fill these empty rooms.
 
In the absence of tourists, hotels and restaurants have cut down their chicken purchases, said a senior CP official. With such a supply glut, he added, prices are bound to fall.
 
The export market has not been of any help. After enjoying a 9 percent growth during the first half of the year, broiler export is projected to decline by 5 percent in the coming months in the wake of the current global economic crisis.
 
Anan Sirimongkolkasem, president of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association, said key chicken importers like the Europe and Japan were in an economic slowdown that is expected to drag on throughout next year.
 

Markets

Prices
for whole dressed chicken

as of 
Nov 27
(in Thai baht/kg)

Prices
for whole dressed chicken

as of  Dec 4
(in Thai baht/kg)

Changes
(in Thai baht/kg)

Supermarkets (Bangkok)

70-75

70-75

0

Public markets (Bangkok)

64-66

62-63

(2-3)

Public markets (Suburbs)

58-60

55-58

(2-3)

Farm gate 

37-38 (liveweight)

33-34 (liveweight)

-4

US$1=THB 35.670 (Dec 5)


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