Likely effects on meat prices cause for further concerns
Trinidad & Tobago’s poultry and livestock feed prices are expected to rise in response to the U.S. drought — local feed producers said they saw corn and soybean prices increase 20 percent in their last shipment, and expect that number to go up another 33 percent in the next shipment, according to reports.
The nation must import nearly 100 percent of its raw feed ingredients. “The grain market over the last year has been very volatile, but not so drastic that we couldn’t manage costs,” said Geoffrey Rostant of Master Mix Trinidad. ”Now, the way these prices are going up, it will not be possible to sustain.” Rostant said that supply is even more of an issue than price, and that producers are looking to non-traditional sources like South America for alternatives.
Meat prices will go up, as well, leading to further concerns. “If people see high meat prices they just won’t buy,” said President of the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association Shiraz Khan. “We can hope that imported meat prices go up, then we could possibly raise ours as well (to remain competitive).” Khan said the government should do more for farmers to help them access affordable feed prices. “We need the state to step in so we can find some viable alternative supply,” he said.