Chicken Prices in Freefall After a Challenging Year

American meat supplies have been piling up for much of 2018, and for Sanderson Farms Inc., the nation’s third-largest poultry processor, that means much lower prices for its products.

Boneless chicken-breast prices dropped 26 percent, and jumbo wings were 30 percent cheaper in the three months ending Oct. 31, compared with the prior year, Sanderson said Thursday in a statement on fourth-quarter results. Overall, prices for poultry products were 9.2 percent lower in fiscal 2018.

Sanderson sold a record 4.44 billion pounds of poultry in fiscal 2018. But prices for chicken have been sagging as supplies of competing commodities such as pork and beef overwhelm Americans with meat. Chicken, in particular, has suffered as retailers promoted more premium items like steaks.

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