November 28, 2011

Thai Broiler Weekly: Chicken farmers decry chick shortage (week ended Nov 25)
An eFeedLink Exclusive

Price summary

The farm-gate price of live chicken has dropped to THB42 in Bangkok, where supply has stabilised as life returns to normal after more than a month of flood crisis.

In far-flung provinces not affected by the recent flooding in central Thailand, prices remain unchanged at THB37-41/kg, according to the latest survey by the Thai Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE).

Market analysis

At the height of Bangkok's flood crisis from late last month to early this month, when major roads leading outside the capital to the west and the north were heavily inundated, live-bird prices in Bangkok spiked to THB46/kg on logistic problems.

Higher demand by exporters trying to fulfil advanced overseas orders for the coming Christmas and New Year holidays also helped lift live-bird prices early in the month.

With the formerly flooded roads now passable, chicken from the provinces now reach Bangkok, helping ease the supply crunch. And, with export orders slowing down, demand has stabilised, keeping prices to soften a bit.

To keep prices from falling, supply has to be managed. And this is what integrators are doing, independent chicken farmers complain.

An owner of a poultry farm in Ratchaburi province says that he has an order for 20,000 chicks to replenish the chickens he sold at the start of the flooding and there has been no delivery for weeks now.

He says other chicken farmers in the province have the same complaint. Their orders for chicks have been sitting for several weeks now "despite reports in the media that operations of the big integrators have not been affected by the flooding."

Independent chicken farmers suspect, he says, that the "big companies are trying to control chick deliveries to manipulate supply to keep prices from falling" at the small farmers' expense.

He says their farms were operating below capacity on account of such strategy. Another farmer, who runs three big broiler farms in Ratchaburi, shared the same complaint.

The "big guns," according to him, "are squeezing small farmers out of existence by manipulating broiler and feed prices."
In fact, he adds, he has decided to close his farm next year and go into another business. "While the risks and efforts are high, there's little money to make here," he says of his broiler farm business.


Prices for whole dressed chicken
as of  Nov 18(in Thai baht/kg)

Prices for whole dressed chicken
as of  Nov 25(in Thai baht/kg)

(in Thai baht/kg)

Supermarkets (Bangkok)




Public markets (Bangkok)




Public markets (Suburbs)




Farm gate 




US$1=THB 31.40 (Nov 28, 2011)


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