Relaxation of lockdown rules and longer hours of operations for meat shops is expected to give a boost to poultry prices — both farmgate and retail markets. While the demand is expected to go up, a production dip in the sector is cited as the reason for the possible price rise in the markets in the next few days.
During the lockdown, the 7-11 am window for operations of shops had seen a dip in the sale of chicken and eggs. The four-hour window and the complete lockdown over the weekend for over two months had seen sales dip by 20-25 per cent.
The industry had asked for sales to be kept open over the weekend but most district collectors had taken decisions based on local conditions. While consumption remained stagnant, the production dip has seen prices being in the range of Rs 60-80/kg at the farm gate, and retail prices hovered around Rs 180-200/kg. Farm gate price refers to the price at which farmers sell their market-ready birds which normally weigh 2-2.2 kgs.
Another reason for the price drop was the panic sale some of the poultry farmers had taken up in fear of the uncertainty about the lockdown. This had created a glut in the market which had also seen prices going down. However, prices had stabilized at around Rs 72-80/kg towards the end of April and most of May. Perhaps the biggest dip was because of the closure of the hotels, restaurants and catering (HORECA) business which contributed around 25 per cent of the consumption. On an average, India reports sales of 1.3 crore eggs and 30 crore birds on a daily basis.
The industry is now upbeat about prices firming up as the lockdown relaxations come into place. Prasanna Pedgaonkar, General Manager of Pune headquartered poultry giant Venkateshwara Hatcheries Private Limited (Venky’s), saw consumption going back to near normal in the days to come. But a production dip of around 25-30 per cent would still remain in the market which would contribute towards price rise. Many in the sector did not rule out prices touching around Rs 120/kg at the farm gate and a corresponding increase in retail markets also. This price rise would take care of the abnormal increase in the feed prices due to the rise in the price of soyabean. The bull run would continue till the start of the Holy month of Shravan during which many desist from consumption of non-vegetarian food.
Source: THE INDIA EXPRESS