The appearance of Avian Flu in Mumbai and many parts of the state has led to a substantial dip in egg and chicken prices as well as a reduction in the consumption of poultry items.
Wholesale egg prices in Mumbai have fallen by nearly 25 per cent – from Rs 545 per 100 eggs at the beginning of January to Rs 413 per 100 eggs as of Thursday – as per the data made available by the National Egg Co-ordination Committee.
During the corresponding period over the last two years, egg prices in Mumbai hovered between Rs 470 to Rs 495 per 100.
The dip in wholesale prices has led to a 10 to 15 per cent fall in retail prices of eggs across various parts of Mumbai. During the beginning of the month, before the first bird flu case came to light, eggs were being sold for anywhere between Rs 70 to 75 a dozen. The prices have now fallen to Rs 60 per dozen.
In spite of the fall in prices, consumption has reduced due to the fear of bird flu. Mumbai on an average consumes nearly 80 lakh eggs each day. The consumption is said to have reduced by around 20 per cent.
“Business has reduced by around 30 per cent, as people are a bit scared to consume poultry products. During winters, there is an increase in the uptake of eggs. I am selling eggs at Rs 60 per dozen, which is Rs 15 less than the price I was selling at the end of December. In spite of this reduction in price, my business has fallen by 25 to 30 per cent,” Khurshid Alam, who operates KGN poultry shop in Nehru Nagar Kurla, said.
Retail prices of chicken have also dipped by around Rs 20 to Rs 30 – from Rs 140 to Rs 160 per kg for a live chicken at the beginning of the year to Rs 120 to Rs 130 per kg now. Poultry owners claimed business has been severely affected.
“The number of people who are buying poultry meat has reduced over the last few days. In my shop, I have witnessed a 40 per cent reduction in business. While the uptake slows down during Makar Sankranti, the increasing number of bird flu cases in the state are making customers jittery,” Razique Kazi, who operates a chicken shop in Jogeshwari, said.
The dip in consumption of poultry products had led Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to direct guardian ministers to oversee a public awareness drive and allay fears about bird flu in the state.
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