In the last few days, Puneites have indeed been feeling the pinch of the soaring temperature, this time on their pockets. With the harsh summer set to take a toll on the production of most agro-based commodities, prices of basic items such as milks, eggs and chicken have shown a noticeable increase. Market watchers have not ruled out a further price escalation.
April was a turbulent time for the poultry industry as the ban on alcohol had taken a toll on sale and consumption of chicken. The industry had recorded a 40 per cent dip in consumption due to the ban and prices had also nosedived in the first two weeks of April.
However, prices have increased since then with the farm gate price — price at which farmers sell their produce — of a 1 kg bird in Pune touching Rs 80; in April, the average recorded price was Rs 70 per kg.
Prasanna Pedgaonkar, deputy general manager of Venkateshwara Hatcheries Private Limited, said high temperatures have taken a toll on production. “Currently, production is down by 15-20 per cent, which is a normal summer phenomenon,” he said. Pedgaonkar said another reason for the price rise was because of the auto-correction in declining demand. “The fall in sales due to the alcohol ban is a thing of the past and the market has corrected itself,” he said.
The price of eggs has also increased, with the price of a single egg trading at Rs 3.16 on May 4, as against Rs 2.98 on April 27.
The dairy industry in Maharashtra had also reported a 20 per cent shortage earlier this year. Vivek Ksheersagar, managing director of the Pune District Cooperative Milk Producers Union and proprietor of the brand Katraj, said the shortage continues to plague the sector.
However, Rajiv Mitra, managing director of Satara-based Govind Milk and Milk Products Limited, which markets dairy products under the Govind brand, was optimistic that the shortage in milk will ease out in 5-6 weeks.