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Chicken, Egg Prices Up on Hopes of Demand

by 5m Editor
25 August 2009, at 12:38pm

TAMIL NADU, INDIA - Egg prices have increased 10 per cent in the past fortnight, while chicken prices have gone up by over 30 per cent during the same period on hopes of rise in demand.

Yesterday, the Namakkal zone of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) raised the price of an egg to Rs 2.15 from Rs 2.09 during the weekend. Egg prices, which touched a record Rs 2.50 in June, had touched a low of Rs 1.94 a fortnight ago.

The Broiler Coordination Committee (BCC) at Palladam in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district raised the price of broiler chicken to Rs 46 a kg from Rs 42. The price had dropped to Rs 35 two weeks ago.

Namakkal and Palladam prices are the benchmarks for eggs and chicken respectively in the country.

"Consumers had kept away from eggs and chicken due to the auspicious period, particularly in South India. Now that it has got over, we are expecting demand to pick up and, therefore, raised the prices," said an NECC official.

"We are expecting demand for chicken to increase after Onam in Kerala," said an official of the BCC.

Kerala imports most of its poultry products requirement from Tamil Nadu. Karnataka, too, chips in a bit to meet the rising demand there.

While in Tamil Nadu the month of Aadi is considered auspicious, the Shravan period is considered auspicious by people in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. During this period, a majority of people prefers to eat only vegetarian food.

"With Ganesh Chathurthi also getting over, we are expecting some rise in demand for poultry products. Though Onam has not got over, we are getting ready for the demand pick-up in two weeks. But we expect better offtake of poultry products in the other States," said the NECC official.

Despite the rise in egg and chicken prices, farmers would not be making gains, said Dr Tamizharasan, a feed manufacturer.

"Farmers will get only Rs 2 an egg as 15 paise will go towards transportation. Against this, the cost of producing an egg is Rs 2.22," he said.

The cost of bringing up a layer bird up to the point of laying egg from being a day-old is 55 paise. “Feed prices have been rising during the last months, making things difficult from the poultry sector,” Dr Tamizharasan said.

On Monday, the cost of soyameal was raised to Rs 23.50 a kg, while rates for sunflower meal was up at Rs 14 from Rs 12 and that of de-oiled rice bran to Rs 8.50 from Rs 5. "Fortunately for us, maize prices are ruling stable," he said.

For a farmer, the cost of a bag of 75 kg of feed fetches 600 eggs, reports The Hindu Businessline. The cost for a “Chick Mass” feed comes to Rs 16-17 a kg.

The price of "Grower Mass" is Rs 14 a kg and that of "Layer Mass" is Rs 12 a kg. On the other hand, the price of Rs 42-46 a kg for chicken is lower than the production cost of Rs 48-50. Prices had ruled at Rs 62 a kg two months ago.

"The holy Muslim month of Ramadan has begun. It could result in some capping of demand," said Dr Tamizharasan.