August 3, 2018 / 10:41 AM / 4 months ago

German poultry farmers want price rises as drought increases costs

FILE PHOTO: Chickens walk beside the road in Reitham near Warngau, Germany April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

HAMBURG (Reuters) - German poultry farmers are seeking price rises from supermarkets because this summer’s drought has caused a surge in the cost of animal feed grain, producer association ZDG said on Friday.

“The significant rise in animal feed prices in past weeks has brought German poultry farmers into great difficulty,” the ZDG said. “Prices for wheat, a central component of chicken and turkey feed, is currently about 25 percent over last year’s level, with a rising trend.”

The hottest July since 1881 has damaged Germany’s harvest and the country’s wheat crop is expected to slump about 25 percent on the year, the German farmers’ union said on Wednesday.

Germany’s government is considering special aid for livestock farmers to help them overcome the rise in animal feed prices.

The ZDG said poultry farmers could not alone carry the extra costs caused by the drought.

“We call on the food retailer sector to increase their purchase prices,” the ZDG said. “And consumers should be willing to pay more for poultry meat.”

German food retailing traditionally offers very low prices and is dominated by giant discount supermarkets that have strong purchasing power and are unwilling to accept price rises.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Dale Hudson

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