Thursday, November 18, 2010


Consumer Appetite, Tight Supplies Push Up Turkey Prices

Sacramento--A growing consumer appetite for turkey plus a tighter supply is pushing up producer prices for the turkeys as the holiday season approaches.

Producers cut back production in 2009 when consumer demand slowed, but the market has exhausted supplies in cold storage and processors are now scrambling for turkeys to meet improving demand, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.

Turkey prices at the producer level are expected to rise 18 percent this year, to 90 cents a pound, compared with 2009, according to USDA’s latest projections released this week.

Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation, said farmers have sold all of their turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday at profitable prices. But he warned that escalating feed costs could dampen the recovery in the turkey business.

Consumers won’t pay a noticeably higher price for turkey at the cash register because retailers are offering discounts on turkeys if shoppers buy a certain amount of other groceries, he said.--California Farm Bureau

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