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State, industry fight to save the chicken

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Johannesburg - As government and chicken farmers met this week to try to save South Africa’s poultry industry, news that better-than-expected rains will bring a predicted 30% drop in feed prices by the middle of the year will give producers some respite.

But while agricultural economists believe the impending drop in soya bean and maize prices after a drought-driven price hike will push up profits for chicken producers, they are still adamant that this will only bring short-term relief and that improved protection from “dumped” chicken is necessary for the industry to stay afloat.

With the crop estimates due to be released on Thursday, agricultural economist Antony Clark said this week that 33% more maize had been planted this season, with crop estimates at 11.5 million tons, a massive improvement on 2016’s 7.6 million tons.

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