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Committee Calls for Feed Price Regulation

by 5m Editor
4 February 2009, at 7:42a.m.

INDIA - National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) is urging for poultry feed ingredient prices to be regulated.

India's 400 billion-rupee (INR) poultry industry has demanded that soybean meal and maize be brought under the Essential Commodities Act, according to Business Standard of India. This would help check prices of these commodities.

The NECC - a leading association of poultry farmers - says that soybean meal and maize are the most crucial ingredients of poultry feed. Hoarding and speculation by the traders has led to abrupt rise in the prices of these commodities, it added.

According to the committee, soy prices are currently INR 21,000-23,000 per tonne, which a couple of months ago had softened to INR 10,000-12,000 a tonne. Similarly, the price of maize rose to INR 1,000 a quintal [=100 kg] from INR 600-650 a quintal a year ago.

"This unprecedented and unjustifiable increase has happened due to forward trading in maize, speculation and hoarding by traders and multi-national companies and exports," said NECC in a statement.

Anuradha Desai, chairperson of NECC, had told Business Standard recently, "The break-even level for egg production has gone up from INR 0.90-1.00 to INR 2.25 per egg, whereas that of broilers has increased to INR 47-48 per kilo from INR 27-28."

Many of the poultry farm owners are running short of working capital due to the losses incurred by them in the last two years. This has resulted in the closure of around 15 per cent of the industry - consisting mainly of small and marginal farmers.