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Rising Prices Blames on Growing Strong Demand

by 5m Editor
14 January 2010, at 8:41am

INDIA - Strong demand is pushing up the prices of chicken and eggs more than usual during this winter.

With the demand for poultry products rising steadily because of winter months in north India coupled with stable feed prices, prices of poultry products are likely to remain firm in the next few months, reports Financial Express of India.

Industry sources told the newspaper that though prices usually rise in December-January, this time, the rise is somewhat steeper than expected because of growing demand for non-vegetarian food.

According to Poultry Federation of India (PFI), the wholesale price of broiler (undressed) chicken has gone up to 72 rupees (INR) per kilo from INR65 in October 2009.

Similarly, the wholesale egg price in Delhi has gone up to INR2.83 each from INR2.30 in October 2009. This implies that the price of a dozen eggs has shot up to INR44 from INR34 three months ago.

M. Batliwala, General Manager, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) told Financial Express: "Poultry prices have reached their peak and are unlikely to go down before the end of January."

Meanwhile, feedmeal prices have stabilised after the arrival of new soybean meal, a key ingredient of poultry feed. On 13 January, soybean meal was quoted at around INR18,500 per tonne – almost INR3,000 lower than October.

Ricky Thapar, spokesperson for PFI, said: "Prices of chicken and eggs have increased because of growing demand from consumers." Consumers have also shifted to poultry products because mutton prices are almost at par, he added.

Mr Batliwala explained that, during the winter months, feed consumption by birds increases while egg production remains the same.

He said: "The consumption of feed goes up to 135 gram per day per bird during winter months from the normal level of 105 grams."

In last few months, volatility in feed prices has been hit poultry farmers hard, reports Financial Express. The industry consumes close to 15 million tonnes of feed annually with an estimated value of INR150 billion.

India is fifth-ranked broiler producer in the world with an estimated production of 2.3 million tonne of broiler meat per annum.

However, there is a huge scope for the growth of poultry industry as the country's annual per capita consumption is only 2.4 kilos. Per-capita consumption of broiler meat has grown by 10 per cent in the last 15 years.