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Poor Supply, Bad Weather Push up Chicken Prices

by 5m Editor
19 June 2012, at 9:26am

INDIA - Chicken is moving out of the kitchen. Thanks to rising cost of chicken feed and the scorching weather which is affecting poultry production, the price of broiler chicken in retail markets has gone up by about 40-50 per cent in the national Capital over the past two months.

According to IndiaToday.in, it is not just households which are feeling the pinch.

Dining out could soon turn even more expensive if you opt for chicken products, thanks to rising costs.

Traders at the Ghazipur-based chicken market claimed wholesale price of live broiler has increased from Rs.45-Rs.50 a kg to Rs.100-110 over the past two months. As a result, retail price of dressed chicken has gone up from Rs.120-Rs.140 per kg to Rs.180-Rs.190 a kg.

The cost of chicken products has gone up accordingly. Boneless chicken, which used to sell at around Rs.180- Rs.200 a kg, is now costing around Rs.280-Rs.300 a kg.

Poultry experts said it is due to the supply crunch from Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab that the price has gone up.

"Rising price of soy meal is one of the main reasons as it has led to higher cost of production. Poultry farmers have started feeling the pinch due to the rise in the price of chicken feed," Ricky Thaper, former treasurer of the Poultry Federation of India (PFI), said.

Soy meal, which was available at the rate of Rs.18 a kg about two months back, has become costlier at Rs.25 a kg. Poultry feed accounts for around 70 per cent of the total production cost.

Mr Thaper claimed the prevailing high temperature has further aggravated the situation.

"The required temperature for poultry farming is between 24 and 30° Celsius. To maintain such a condition in the prevailing summer, farmers have to use fans, coolers and sprinklers. It increases power consumption leading to rise in the cost of poultry production," he said.

The supply of chicken too has gone down by around 50 per cent in recent months.

According to an estimate, the wholesale markets at Ghazipur and INA used to get around 200 trucks of chicken daily to cater to the demands of the city and NCR areas. But now the number has come down to almost half.

"Nowadays, we have been getting around 110-120 trucks. But the demand is showing no signs of coming down, rather, it has been increasing with the opening of new restaurants," Mr Thaper added.

Some of the restaurant owners said their business is getting affected because of the price rise. They said the rate- list has not changed, but, it may increase in future if the situation persists.

"We buy 300 chickens daily for the restaurant and we have to pay around Rs.50 extra for each one. We are suffering a loss of over Rs.3 million on a monthly basis. We will have to increase the price in the near future if the cost of raw chicken does not come down," Mohammad Shahid, owner of Changezi, a restaurant chain, said.

Traders in Ghazipur market said the cost of poultry production is leading to scarcity of chicken. Imran Qureshi, a wholesale trader, said the price may increase further as the situation is unlikely to improve for another two months.

Another wholesale trader, Salauddin, said last month a lot of chicks died because of bad weather which has resulted in the sudden scarcity in Delhi and NCR areas. "Rise in temperature and humidity along with high power cost have contributed to the problem. Change in weather condition has raised prices," Salauddin said.