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Price of Christmas turkeys should be little changed - as feed prices suppressed by Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:49 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 28 November 2019

Prices of Christmas turkeys should be stable this year as higher staff costs are countered by lower feed prices, says Paul Kelly  Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Prices of Christmas turkeys should be stable this year as higher staff costs are countered by lower feed prices, says Paul Kelly Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Whole turkey is set to make a comeback this Christmas, a major premium producer predicts.

Paul Kelly with one of his whole turkeys  Picture: LUCY TAYLORPaul Kelly with one of his whole turkeys Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Paul Kelly, of Kelly Turkeys in Danbury predicts that a recent trend towards butchers buying imported 'butterflies' - two breast joints attached by the breast skin - as a cheap commodity product may be coming to an end.

"This year turkey butterflies look to be in short supply as current prices are up by about approximately 30%," he said.

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"Switching customers to a whole turkey may be easier this year and is undoubtedly the best long-term solution for the specialist independent retailer."

Whole birds take up the bulk of Kelly Turkeys' own retail sales at 72%, with crowns and breast joints at 14% respectively.

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Prices for his birds will be little changed from last year - up by just 1.5% - as Brexit has kept feed costs low, he said.

With the prospect of large tariffs on wheat for export, UK wheat has become uncompetitive and grain that would normally be shipped abroad is creating an oversupplied domestic market.

However, this has been countered by higher labour costs, which have risen substantially as a result of the higher minimum living wage and a weak pound. "This means we have to pay more to attract our seasonal workforce," he said.


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