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Chicken Prices Rise in the South

by 5m Editor
29 March 2011, at 12:51am

INDIA - Chicken prices across the south of the country are soaring, reportedly as the result of high costs of production and reduced output.

Costly poultry feed and lower production have pushed up chicken prices in south India, according to Economic Times of India. Normally, chicken prices drop when summer approaches.

The prices of maize, the main ingredient of chicken feed, have risen sharply.

"Maize prices have gone up by Rs 3,500 to Rs 12,500 per tonne. This, along with a decline in chicken production, have pushed up poultry prices," said B. Soundrarajan, Managing Director of Suguna Poultry Farms.

Erode-based SKM Animal Feeds and Foods has raised the prices of poultry feed by two rupees (INR) to INR20 per kilo. Mr Ramamurthy, production general manager, said a further increase was in store as maize prices were on the upswing.

Chicken prices are currently ruling in the range of INR108 to INR112 per kilo in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The prices were less by a half this time last year and the surge in the prices has happened despite the Lent season, when Christians abstain from eating meat. "Fearing a drop in the prices, traders did not stock enough birds for the March-April season this year. As a result, there was a severe shortage in the market which reflected in the prices," said Kochi-based poultry dealer, Mr Basheer.

However, the early onset of summer has seen egg prices falling by 30 per cent. The festive period of Navratra beginning on 2 April in the north and the Lent season are expected to keep the prices under pressure, say traders and poultry owners.

"Egg consumption has drastically fallen by 20 to 25 per cent. Prices have come down to INR1.85 from INR2.60 an egg a fortnight ago. We expect them to further go down to INR1.70 by next week," said Rajpura-based Mehta poultry farm owner, Sandeep Mehta. He said chicken prices remained stable with a five per cent fall in prices at INR70 a kilo.

According to Economic Times, in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, egg prices have fallen to INR2.20 an egg from a high of INR3.02 two months ago. A drop in consumption and excess stock are the main reasons for the low prices, said Mr Sasikumar, director of Ravi Poultry Farms. As traders are consciously reducing the stock, prices may rise by 10 paise in the coming weeks.

Falling prices have led to an increase in commercial cold-storage of eggs by traders in north India. "Egg prices are very low at this time of the year compared to the last year's rate of INR240 for 100 eggs. Major traders across Delhi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi and Patna are keeping them in cold storage which will be later sold after and during the rainy season," said Faridabad-based Arora Egg Sale owner, Surinder Kumar. According to an industry estimate, over 100 to 120 million eggs are kept in cold-storage from March to May.