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Feed Prices Cripple Poultry Industry

by 5m Editor
11 August 2008, at 11:34am

INDIA - Recent rains in key maize-producing states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have impacted poultry feed prices.

Financial Express of India reports that the price of maize, which rose to 10,500 rupees (INR) per tonne few months prior to the government imposing a ban on its export, is now on sale at INR9,800 per tonne. According to poultry industry sources, the price of maize was around INR 8,000 per tonne.

Rains have also impacted the transportation of maize to different parts of the country. Not only maize but also soybean meal prices have risen sharply in the recent months to INR21,500 per tonne from INR16,000 a year ago. The next soybean crop is not due to be harvested until mid-October.

"We have petitioned the department of animal husbandry to ban the export of soybean meal so that the prices of poultry feed come down," said Ricky Thapar, treasurer of the Poultry Federation of India (PFI).

He said that as a consequence of rise in the prices of soybean and maize, the cost of poultry feed has gone up to INR1800 per tonne from an average of INR1200 per tonne last year.

At present, the costs of producing a kilogram of live broiler and an egg are INR45 and INR1.80, respectively.

For the retail consumer in Delhi, the price of live weight broiler is around INR65 per kilo. The retail price of eggs in Delhi is INR30-34 per dozen while the chicken is selling at around INR100-110 per kilo.

"Poultry is losing heavily due to rise in the cost of production and more than 20% of poultry farms have closed down," Mr Thapar said.

He also said that due to forthcoming festivals like Rakha Bandhan, Durga Puja and Navaratras among others, demand for chicken and eggs will fall because consumers prefer not to eat chicken and eggs due to religious reasons.

India produces more than 2.0 million tonnes of broiler chicken annually, reports the newspaper - making it the fifth largest producer in the world - and it is the largest producer of eggs with output of around 44 billion.

5m Editor