Egg Prices Dip on Supply Boost in Kolkata

INDIA - Egg prices in Kolkata's (West Bengal) wholesale markets have come down as supplies have picked up and demand in some pockets of India have not gone up as anticipated. The drop has pulled down retail prices of eggs at markets across the city.
calendar icon 27 December 2017
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The Times of India reports that at the wholesale market in Sealdah, eggs on Monday were being sold at Rs 400 for a crate of 100 or Rs 4 a piece. With supplies picking up to normal levels, prices have come down to last year's level now despite a usual spike in demand during winter.

"It has started coming down in the past 7-10 days. Little more than a month ago, egg prices were at the highest and now it has touched a yearly low," said Kajal Dutta, president of Kolkata Egg Merchants' Association.

In November, egg prices started to increase buoyed by a spike in demand in north India and a lower production mainly in the southern states like Andhra Pradesh.

At the wholesale markets in Kolkata, prices rose to Rs 7.50-Rs 8 per piece. The situation prompted West Bengal government to step in and increase egg supplies at a reasonable rate to the market through state-owned outlets.

While the state government started selling eggs at a much lower rate, wholesalers at Kolkata refused to procure eggs from southern states at a higher price. Gradually, prices saw a climbdown by end of November.

"It seems that demand has not picked up to the anticipated levels across the states in India. This has also acted as a dampener for the prices. We are hopeful that the present price levels will continue for the next few months," said Arun Das, another wholesaler at the Sealdah market.

At Gariahat market, eggs were sold at Rs 5 per piece on Monday.

"In the last 10 days, there has been an increase in the supplies. Farm gate (the net value of a product when it leaves the farm) prices are much lower now and demand in states like Kerala has faced a temporary slump," said Laxman Pradhan, a retailer.

According to him, demand for eggs increase each year especially before the Christmas and New Year because of cake making.

Industry insiders report a stable price of eggs had encouraged farmers in Bengal to invest in poultry farming. If prices are too low, it will discourage farmers as they will have to incur losses.

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