December 28, 2011

Thai Broiler Weekly: Thai Chicken prices down; holiday demand fails to live up expectations (week ended Dec 23)
An eFeedLink Exclusive

Price summary

Thailand's domestic chicken prices have dropped on the eve of the New Year holidays, traditionally a time when meat prices surge on strong demand.

The farm-gate price of lived birds fell by THB.05/kg from last week, driven by a marginal decline in retail prices, which meat vendors attribute to weak demand by consumers reeling from Thailand's recent severe flooding.

The daily survey by the Office of Agricultural Economics shows the farm price of live broiler at THB39.50/kg, down from THB40/kg last week, in Central and Eastern Thailand. Around this time last year, the local price of live broiler was THB44-45/kg.

Market analysis

Though marginal, the drop is cause for concern among broiler farmers whose production costs have surged after the flooding.

Amid tight supply, the price of a day-old chick has been on the rise from THB14 apiece before the flooding to THB20 each in certain parts of the country.

With thousands of acres of croplands destroyed by the month-old flooding, Thai corn prices have increased by about 10% during the last two months and are projected to increase by another 10% in the next six months. Thai corn output this year is expected to fall by one million tonne as a result of the flooding, which adversely affected nearly 30 provinces in Central Thailand.

Industry sources say that before the flooding, the average production cost for a live broiler was about THB35-36. However, given the recent increases in corn and chick prices, production cost has gone up to THB37-38/kg.

With very little profit margin left, industry insiders add, Thailand's broiler sector could be in trouble unless costs for corn and day-old chicks are reined in.

Thailand's recent flooding had adversely affected egg production by grandparent stock, resulting in the current day-old chick shortage. The problem has been compounded by increased demand from broiler farms trying to restock or expand production. 

Before the flooding, the selling price of day-old chicks was THB14 apiece. Due to the current shortage, some hatcheries have been selling day-old chicks at up to THB20 each.


Prices for whole dressed chicken
as of  Dec 16(in Thai baht/kg)

Prices for whole dressed chicken
as of  Dec 23(in Thai baht/kg)

(in Thai baht/kg)

Supermarkets (Bangkok)




Public markets (Bangkok)




Public markets (Suburbs)




Farm gate 




US$1=THB 31.47 (Dec 28, 2011)



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