In Ecuador, the consumption of chicken meat increased by 3.14% in 2022
The price of a pound of chicken meat recovered in the Ecuadorian market. At the same time, the cost per pound of this protein, in the third week of March, increased from 76 to 85 cents per foot, while the slaughter price went from USD 1.10 to 1.15 per pound.
Chicken meat production also had a slight increase of 3.14%, going from 255 million, in 2021, to 263 million chickens, in 2022. This is evidenced by a report from the National Corporation of Poultry farmers of Ecuador (Conave).
Likewise, consumption between the two years had a minimum increase of 27 to 28 kilograms per person per year and for this year it is expected to rise by 5%, that is, to 30 kilograms.
According to the 2015 National Poultry Registry (last existing national registry), in Ecuador there are 1,819 poultry farms, of which 1,414 are dedicated to producing chicken meat.
Juan Francisco Jaramillo, Conave’s technical coordinator, explained that chicken consumption is gradually recovering in the market. Before the pandemic, the average was 30 kilograms per person per year.
Moreover, it is above the consumption of pork and beef. According to their records in Ecuador, a person eats 11 kilograms of pork and 10 kilograms of beef per year.
The high consumption occurs because it is one of the lowest-priced proteins in relation to meat that reaches USD 2.50 a pound. A seven-pound chicken sells for $8.
Farms do not register avian influenza
Jaramillo assured that the presence of avian influenza has not been detected in fattening farms. “Currently we have an increase in the supply of chicken meat due to an overproduction that will last during the first half of 2023 and that was planned by the sector.”
He said that there are no gaps in the production of chicken meat, it is normal. Currently there is an oversupply that caused the producer price to drop to 76 cents per pound of live chicken in February and the first half of March .
But it recovered in the third week of this month. She settled at 85 cents per foot pound. Something similar happened with slaughter, it went from USD 1.10 to cost 1.15.
The technician affirmed that the chicken meat market and the price are cyclical, obeying national supply and demand. In addition, neighboring countries are influenced by the occasional contraband that enters Ecuador when internal prices are high.
Pastaza produces 1 million chickens
The Pastaza Poultry Farmers Association, which brings together small and medium-sized producers, produces 1 million poultry per month. Its main marketing markets are Napo, Morona Santiago, Pastaza, Tungurahua and Chimborazo.
Protein producers also recorded losses due to the low price of chicken that did not cover the cost of production. It cost them 80 cents and they sold it for 75 cents. That is why they applied as a strategy to sell the slaughtered chickens. With commercialization they managed to recover.
At the El Buen Pollo poultry farm, owned by Patricio Guamán , production has not stopped, despite the low prices that affected the businessman.
A group of workers hurry to feed the 50,000 growing in four large semi-automated sheds.
The poultry farmer is happy because a week ago the live chicken price was 75 cents and it just went up to 85 cents. “We were working at a loss, that’s why we decided to slaughter 70% of the production, with which I managed to recover.”
In this poultry farm located in the Pindo Mirador sector – before reaching the Shell parish – there has been no lag in the entry of batches of 7,200 chickens into their sheds. Three hatchery companies in the province of Pastaza supply him with birds.
Biosecurity measures were applied to avoid possible avian flu infections. Customers do not enter his farm but are delivered through his vehicular flora.
Another of the chicken producers, in Pastaza, is Karina Valle. In her sheds she raises 21,000 birds. The price of meat in the market caused gaps in its production. The microentrepreneur said that before, batches of 7,200 chickens entered her farm every three weeks, and as long as the situation does not change, she does so every month. “Before, I had a production of 45,000 birds, but I went down to 50%, hoping that the situation will change.”
He said that there was an oversupply of chicken in the market, which affected sales, but sales and consumption recovered by more than 80%.
She is concerned because during February and part of March the price of a pound of chicken did not cover the cost of production, which caused small producers to go bankrupt. “Before the pandemic we had 22 producers in the association and now there are only 10.”
Biosecurity measures in Ambato
In northern Ambato, Abrahán Izurieta, manager of the Izurieta poultry farm, has 70,000 broilers in his sheds.
In order not to affect his birds, he installed a biosecurity system that works perfectly with his 10 employees and customers. “We cannot paralyze ourselves but rather seek sanitary alternatives to avoid possible infections.”
Its products are marketed in Ambato , Quito , Cotopaxi and other provinces of the country. What’s more, the entry of the batches of chickens delayed them to a month, it is as a security measure in case of a possible affectation of the disease.