Poultry prices have surged by up to 50 per cent in the past one month due to supply shortage and rising consumer demand with the onset of cold weather.
Data compiled by poultrybazaar.net, a popular online platform in this sector, showed broiler chicken prices (2-2.5 kgs) jumped by 51 per cent to trade at Rs 98 a kg at present, from Rs 65 a kg about a month ago. Similarly, broiler chicken of similar size is quoted at Rs 99 a kg and Rs 74 a kg in Mumbai and Raipur, respectively, from their respective levels of Rs 66 a kg and Rs 63 a kg about a month ago.
Apart from broiler chicken, egg prices have also moved up by up to 20 per cent in the period under consideration. Egg prices in Mysore and Chennai are quoted at Rs 4.07 a piece and 4.10 a piece, respectively, from their respective levels of Rs 3.40 a piece and Rs 3.45 a piece.
The poultry price hike was primarily seen in the western and southern Indian states due to supply shortage as farmers reduced their output due to the weak demand that was seen earlier. Experts, however, believe that poultry prices have already peaked, with minimal chance to rise further from the current level.
“The current price rise of poultry products can be attributed to supply shortage and increased consumer demand following the onset of the peak demand season — from October to February. Poultry prices are likely to remain rangebound for six-eight weeks before supply potentially increases and the situation normalises,” said Balram Yadav, managing director, Godrej Agrovet.
During the period between March and September, poultry demand in India normally eases due to intense summer heat, monsoon rainfalls and festivals thereafter. But, demand gradually resumes with the onset of the winter season in October. Hence, the cycle of peak consumption season has started without planning by poultry farmers to meet the demand.
“Poultry farmers incurred huge losses in the past few months due to weak demand and rising cost of production. The government has raised the minimum support price (MSP) of kharif agricultural products, which raised the cost of production. Considering all inputs and labour cost, however, the cost of broiler chicken production works out to Rs 84 a kg from Rs 65-70 a kg earlier. Realisation below this would yield a loss for poultry farmers. Hence, the current price rise is fairly normal for poultry farmers,” said Ramesh Khatri, president, Poultry Federation of India.
Experts believe that prices of raw materials such as corn, soybean and soy meal have jumped over the past one month, albeit marginally.
“Supply restoration is not possible so easily as farmers cannot increase the number of birds overnight. Hence, poultry prices may normalise in two months from now,” said Khatri.