3 July 1998

Thai imports dent UK chicken prices

CHEAP imports of chicken breast meat from Thailand have led to the third cut in home producer prices in the past six months.

The latest cut facing Scottish producers is 1p/kg liveweight which, according to Scottish NFU vice president, Peter Chapman, is a 5% fall following two similar cuts in recent times.

Grampian Country Foods managing director, Mike Stephen, said: "It is the only way we can retain markets. Frozen chicken breast meat, mainly for the processing market, is coming in from Thailand at £1/lb which is two- thirds of the home price. "They have people prepared to work 12 hours a day, six days a week, and for £12 a week. Their grain prices are also about half ours. All that, plus the strength of sterling is making life very difficult."