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High Cost Of Imported Grain

Wednesday 01 November 2006

Media statement from the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ)

High Cost Of Imported Grain To Have Big Impact On Chicken Meat Industry

Australia’s prolonged drought will impact on the price of New Zealand poultry meat from whole chickens right through to further processed products, New Zealand Poultry Industry Association Executive Director Michael Brooks said today.

Australia’s worst drought for decades has caused grain prices to soar there by more than 80%.

“The predominant grains in chicken feed, wheat, barley, maize and sorghum, account for approximately 65% of the feed with proteins, vitamins and minerals making up the balance. New Zealand imports Australian wheat and other grains and with the unprecedented rise in the cost of grain, chicken producers are experiencing a substantial increase in production costs.”

“Grain represents the major part of chicken feed, and there is no substitute. Feed in turn makes up more than 60% of the production costs. So it is easy to see why the drought in Australia will also impact on the New Zealand chicken meat industry in a major way. “

“The industry has done an outstanding job of optimising poultry meat production and passing on the cost savings to consumers which has seen the price (adjusted for inflation) of poultry meat track down for over 30 years.”

“The reality is that the astronomical increase in the cost of imported grain is just too great for the industry to absorb and prices of chicken will have to increase.“

“However we will make every effort to increase efficiency to reduce the impact on consumers as much as possible” Mr Brooks said.

ENDS

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