Chicken production declined by seven-tenths of one per cent in Ontario during the first two months of this year, reversing years of steady increases.
The decline came despite the right to produce more chicken as set by the Chicken Farmers of Canada national agency.
It has been steadily calling for increases and under a new deal Ontario gains more of those national increases than most other provinces.
The total supply available to consumers has also declined, not only because of the decline in Canadian production, but also because of a decline in imports.
Ironically, consumption increased because exports declined by more than 10 per cent and stocks were drawn from storage so totals still in storage declined by more than seven per cent. In Ontario, they declined by more than 21 per cent.
Retail prices declined by about three per cent, but within that there were bigger declines for wings and legs, but a small increase in prices for breast meat.
The consumer price index for chicken has gone up by three-tenths of one per cent so far this year while the price indices for beef declined by 4.7 per cent and for pork by 3.9 per cent.
From now until late August, the national agency is allowing production increases of five to six per cent.