Updated: June 3, 2021 11:44:17 pm
Relaxation of lockdown and longer operational hours for meat shops are expected to give a boost to poultry prices — farmgate as well as retail. While demand is expected to go up, a production dip in the sector is cited as the reason for possible price rise in markets during the next few days.
During lockdown, the 7 am to 11 am window for operations witnessed a dip in the sale of chicken and eggs. Sales dipped by 20 to 25 per cent due to the four-hour window and complete lockdown over the weekend for over two months.
The industry had asked for sale to be kept open over the weekend, but most district collectors decided not to based on local conditions. While consumption remained stagnant, farmgate prices ranged from Rs 60 to Rs 80 per kg and retail prices hovered around Rs 180 to Rs 200 per kg due to dip in production. Farmgate prices refer to the price at which farmers sell their market-ready birds normally weighing around 2 to 2.2 kg.
Another reason for the price drop was panic sale by some poultry farmers in fear of uncertainty over lockdown. This created a glut in the market, due to which prices went down. Prices, however, stabilised at around Rs 72 to Rs 80 per kg towards the end of April and most of May. Perhaps the biggest dip was due to the closure of hotels, restaurants and catering (HORECA) businesses, which contributed to around 25 per cent consumption. On an average, India reports sales of 1.3 crore eggs and 30 crore birds daily.
The industry is now upbeat about prices firming up as lockdown relaxations come into effect. Prasanna Pedgaonkar, general manager of Pune-headquartered poultry giant, Venkateshwara Hatcheries Private Limited (Venky’s), said consumption will go back to near normal in the days to come. But a production dip of around 25 to 30 per cent would still remain, which would contribute to price rise, Pedgaonkar added.
Many in the sector did not rule out prices touching close to Rs 120 per kg at farmgate and a corresponding increase in retail prices as well. This price rise will take care of the abnormal increase in feed prices due to the increase in pricing of soybean. The bull run will continue till the beginning of Shravan, according to the Hindu calendar, when many desist from eating non-vegetarian food.
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