Trinidad & Tobago's poultry and livestock feed prices are expected to rise sharply as the on-going US drought continues to drive demand for corn and soybean up.
Local feed producers expect corn and soybean prices to go up by 33%,. Last shipment’s price was up by 20%.
Trinidad & Tobago’s feed producers have to import almost all of their raw materials.
"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.