Chicken prices going up

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - August 14, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Retail prices of chicken in Cebu wet markets and supermarkets have gone up by at least P5 to P15, with vendors blaming the recent price hike on the presumed tight supply of the product.

They also warned consumers this early that prices are expected to continue rising as the “ber” season starts next month.

Prices of both whole dressed chicken and chicken cuts at the Carbon Public Market, one of the biggest wet markets in Cebu City, have increased by at least P5 to P10.

Whole chicken now sells at P130 per piece – some are selling it at P135 – from the usual P125, while chicken cuts are bought at P150 per kilo from P140 before.

Vendor Marlou P. Hegera, 44, said chicken distributors have told them that supply of the product is currently scarce.

"Matod sa mga wholesalers, nihit kuno ang supply sa manok maong nisaka pud ang wholesale price," the woman said.

Retailers claimed they have no other choice but to increase their prices as chicken suppliers are also doing the same.

Dahlia P. Dumdum, another chicken seller, said the wholesale price of whole chicken they get from a trading company is now at P125.

Vendors also observed that buyers have recently been cutting their consumption on chicken products because of high prices. Dumdum said she is having a hard time disposing all of her daily supply of 100 pieces of whole chickens because of the apparent limited spending among consumers.

Mely Maniego, 56, and her fellow market vendors could not predict for now as to when prices will eventually return to normal, saying current prices might prevail throughout the onset of “ber” months.

In supermarkets, chicken cut products are priced relatively higher between P148 to P160 per kilo while whole chicken is now sold at P137 per piece. The recent increase is pegged at P10 to P15.

Egg prices

On the other hand, egg prices have also increased by centavos due to limited supply in the market, vendors said.

As of yesterday, prices of eggs at the Carbon Market are now at P5.30 to P6 per piece from P4.50 to P5.75 each in the past. 

Egg vendor Gingging Racaza, 33, said the price of egg per tray has increased by at least P5 to P10. She said consumers are now temporarily buying the much low-priced slightly broken eggs at P10 for three pieces.

Meanwhile, even if some retailers said they are having a hard time getting supply, the Department of Agriculture has maintained that there is no shortage of chicken meat in the market.

It said it is going to closely monitor price movements down to the farm gate level and address the temporary tightness in supply of the product.

Agribusiness and Marketing Division chief Gerry Avila of DA Region Seven said that they have been told by poultry growers that supply is relatively tight this time because of having an oversupply in the first semester. 

"Naghinobra kuno ilang supply sa first semester ug ang nahitabo karon ni-slowdown sila sa second semester," he told The FREEMAN.

The department suspected the problem may be due to distribution issues.

While the National Association of Broiler Integrators earlier admitted there is shortage of supply of chicken goods in the National Capital Region, Avila said this may not be the same case in Visayas.

Reports said typhoon Glenda which hit southern Luzon last month also affected the supply in NCR after many poultry farms there were damaged. The DA official added majority of the chicken supplies in Visayas are sourced from poultry farms of Bohol, Negros Oriental and other provinces.

He added the agency is hoping that poultry integrators are now preparing for a surge in demand of chicken products during the “ber” months. (FREEMAN)

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