Consumers to pay more for chicken, eggs /

Cus­tomers now have to dig deep­er in­to their pock­ets to pur­chase poul­try prod­ucts.

Nu­trim­ix Group of Com­pa­nies di­rec­tor Ron­nie Mo­hammed con­firmed to Guardian Me­dia on Tues­day that the com­pa­ny on Mon­day ad­just­ed the prices of their prod­ucts.

«It (price ad­just­ment) de­pends on so many dif­fer­ent types of prod­ucts we car­ry, so the vari­a­tion is very much skewed. I don’t have a num­ber in front of me but pre­dom­i­nant­ly, I think what would be con­sid­ered a whole chick­en, which I guess is house­hold, the oth­ers will be con­sid­ered more spe­cial­i­ty cuts, would have been about six per cent,» Mo­hammed said.

Ex­plain­ing that sev­er­al fac­tors con­tributed to the ad­just­ments, he said, «There has been a se­ries of ad­just­ments in the mar­ket­place and def­i­nite­ly sig­nif­i­cant in­cre­men­tal costs re­lat­ing to hatch­ing eggs, grains, pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als, fu­el, and our ad­just­ments are a re­flec­tion of those costs.»

How­ev­er, he said Nu­trim­ix was «ex­ceed­ing­ly tardy» in ad­just­ing their prices, but «you get to the point where you have high­er cost in­ven­to­ry com­ing in.»

Poul­try As­so­ci­a­tion of T&T pres­i­dent and Arawak mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Robin Phillips said there was an av­er­age price in­crease of five per cent in the last week of April. He said the ad­just­ments were nec­es­sary since they have been run­ning at a loss in their pro­cess­ing di­vi­sion since March.

«Since com­ing to the end of March when there was a big surge in the price of grain as a re­sult of what is tak­ing place in Ukraine, so we had to make some of the ad­just­ments. A lot of the oth­er in­puts have gone up but grain was the main dri­ving force,» he said.

Giv­en the strain on the sup­ply chain, Phillips said a lot of their cus­tomers were hap­py that they could con­tin­ue to sup­ply chick­en.

«At least we have been able to man­age that, in terms of sourc­ing our grain and our hatch­ing eggs, which are the two crit­i­cal things in our in­dus­try. The lo­cal poul­try in­dus­try has been suc­cess­ful in man­ag­ing that as­pect of the busi­ness, se­cur­ing the grain sup­ply and the hatch­ing eggs sup­ply,» Phillips said.

Mean­while, poul­try de­pot own­ers ad­mit their cus­tomers are com­plain­ing and there has been a de­cline in sales.

«Is like every week go­ing by, chick­en go­ing up, it will be like 15 cents, 20 cents, ac­cord­ing­ly. There are oth­er busi­ness­es pay­ing more mon­ey than us. Is like feed gone up, you can’t get ba­by chicks, eggs…not on­ly chick­en, you hard­ly get­ting ducks, short­age of eggs,» said An­tho­ny Mo­hip, own­er of 786 Meat Sup­plies.

Not­ing that last week he in­creased his prices, he said: «I doubt I will in­crease again. I will hold this price un­til (but), if next week prices go up again well we will have to in­crease.»

Mo­hip said a chick­en priced at $50 last month could now cost $60 and up.

R&N Poul­try and Meat Sup­plies own­er Nali­ni Jit­ta is now sell­ing chick­en at $8 per pound, 50 cents more than last month’s price.

«It af­fect­ing the busi­ness. Peo­ple hard­ly buy­ing be­cause of the price. So in­stead of buy­ing five chick­en, some of them buy­ing two or one. Some peo­ple just walk­ing in, ask­ing the price and then walk­ing back out be­cause they can­not af­ford it. If whole­sale (price) wasn’t that high we would not have to raise it. Be­cause of the short­age of chick­en the prices keep go­ing up.»

Ex­plain­ing that sup­pli­ers have been un­able to meet their or­ders, Jit­ta said she on­ly re­ceives about half of what she or­ders now.

«You get­ting a lit­tle bit (of chick­en) every day. Is not like you get­ting the full amount,» she added.

Jit­ta said the price of feed al­so went up from $180 per bag to $250 in some places. Sev­er­al cus­tomers al­so com­plained to Guardian Me­dia about the in­creas­es.

Con­sumer Ra­j­pat­tie Ram­nath com­plained, «It af­fect­ing me re­al bad be­cause my hus­band don’t have a reg­u­lar job and I not work­ing re­al­ly and the prices of chick­en is more than we use to pay be­fore.»

She said she has been forced to re­duce her chick­en con­sump­tion. «Let we say be­fore I used to buy five, six. Now I can on­ly buy about four. So I can­not af­ford to buy how much I used to buy,» she added.

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian