Chicken price hits all-time high due to increased costs of poultry farm operation

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 8, 2023, 16:59 Updated : March 8, 2023, 17:59

[Courtesy of BBQ]

SEOUL -- The price of chicken has reached its all-time-high as the cost of livestock farming has skyrocketed due to the increase in farm operating costs including the prices of fertilizers, animal feed, electricity, and fuel that were accelerated by the sluggish global economic growth sparked by the fuel price increase, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. Concerns that the era of expensive "30,000-won ($22.7) fried chicken" is not far off are growing among South Korean consumers.
According to data released by the state-operated Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corp. (aT) in 2021, Fried chicken took the top spot on the list of South Koreans' favorite menu when they dine out or order food through delivery services. Korean-style fried chicken smothered in red spicy and sweet sauce is the iconic dish frequently sought by people of all ages. It is common to find people happily chatting over a dish of fried chicken and beer mugs after work.
The average price of fired chickens in South Korea was about 16,000 won in early 2022. Fried chicken franchises increased their chicken menus by some 2,000 won in mid-2022, bringing grief among fried chicken manias. Farming industry specialists predict that the price hike in chickens will eventually pull up the prices of fried chicken menus to about 30,000 won.
According to the Korea Broiler Council the price of chicken that weighs one kilogram, the kind that is most favored by fried chicken franchises, was 3,190 won on March 7. The price rose from the 2,000-won range in early 2023. "I have been operating a store for the last 23 years and this is the first time for me to see such an expensive chicken price," a non-franchise fried chicken store owner told Aju Business Daily on condition of anonymity. "The price has almost doubled compared to the same period last year."
The price increase of chickens will affect the price range of fried chicken franchise menus as franchise headquarters provide store owners with processed chicken, which is more expensive than whole chickens that come straight out of poultry slaughterhouses.
"Because the cost of frying oil, packaging, sauce, as well as the price of chickens, is continuously increasing, we will have to also increase the consumer prices to be able to maintain our store," an anonymous franchise chicken store operator told Aju Business Daily. 
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