Tight supply pushes chicken prices higher

by Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2014 06:11 PM | Updated as of Aug 12 2014 12:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The price of chicken has gone up, amid a lack of supply in wet markets and supermarkets. And the price is expected to continue going up as the "ber" months approach.

Some eateries are feeling the effects of lack of chicken supply in the market.

"Mahirap humanap ngayon ng manok sa palengke, ubusan. Kaya isa lang putahe namin ng manok. Dati tatlo (It's hard to find chicken in the wet markets. That's why we only have one chicken dish now. Before we were selling three chicken dishes," a carinderia owner said.

At the supermarket, a kilo of frozen chicken now costs between P135-P150. Meanwhile, a kilo of fresh dressed chicken in the wet markets now cost P150-P170, nearly the same price as pork.

Even the price of eggs have gone up. One egg costs P5 now, from its old price of P3.50.

Even as the Department of Agriculture insists there is no shortage, some supermarket owners say they are having a hard time getting supply of chicken.

"Very tight ang supply ng chicken. We only have six pieces left, yung mga neighboring big chains no stock na talaga," Steven Cua, president of the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarket Association, said.

The DA speculated that some wet market retailers may be buying their supply of chicken from supermarkets, since the price is cheaper than other suppliers.

Typhoon "Glenda", which hit southern Luzon in July, also affected the supply. Many poultry farms, which supply 60 percent of chicken in the National Capital Region, were damaged. The lack of electricity and water in the aftermath of Glenda also affected their operations.

However, the United Broiler Raisers Association is wondering why the price of chicken has reached P170 a kilo in the wet markets.

They said the price of chicken in the palengke should be cheaper since they are sourced directly from the suppliers.

"Nagtataka nga kami. Nagdududa, paanong magmamahal yung manok e yan yung mga manok na hinugot namin sa bumagsak na mga yero, syempre babaratin kami ng mga bibili," Jose Elias Inciong of the United Broiler Raisers Association said.

The DA said it is now investigating the tight supply of chicken in the country.