The Chicken & Egg Story doesn’t Come Cheap

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Dearer


The pro­tein food bas­ket is get­ting dearer. The heat wave in states like Tamil Nadu, Te­lan­gana, Andhra, West Ben­gal, Bi­har and Jhark­hand has re­sulted in broiler deaths, lead­ing to a 25% in­crease in price of chicken and 9% in egg prices over the past fort­night.

Poul­try own­ers in Te­lan­gana said the state has more than 10,000 farms with about 7 crore live broiler and layer breeds. The in­crease in tem­per­a­ture to 45 de­gree Cel­sius in some places has led to death of broiler as well as layer breeds. As a re­sult, chicken pro­duc­tion has gone down 20% in the past fort­night and prices have moved up, they said.

Price of pro­cessed chicken has gone up to Rs 200 per kg from Rs 150 a fort­night ago.

“If the heat wave con­tin­ues then prices may move fur­ther north. There is de­mand in the mar­ket but sup­ply is less. In Jhark­hand ,tem­per­a­ture is hover­ing around 45 de­gree cel­sius, which is un­favourable for poul­try in­dus­try,” said Sa­maren­dra Narayan Sen, pres­i­dent of West Ben­gal Poul­try Fed­er­a­tion.

In­dia’s broiler pro­duc­tion is pro­jected to in­crease 8% this year to 4.2 mil­lion tonnes amid grow­ing de­mand from the mid­dle class, ac­cord­ing to a US De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s For­eign Agri­cul­tural Ser­vice re­port.

Live poul­try mar­ket ac­counts for 90-95% of to­tal sales since most con­sumers pre­fer freshly culled chicken. Chicken prices have gone up in the past few years due to in­crease in feed prices. Pro­cessed chicken meat makes up 5-10% of the to­tal chicken meat pro­duc­tion, but the re­port es­ti­mates 15-20% growth in de­mand for pro­cessed chicken meat.

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