Retail broiler chicken sellers have reported a 20% drop in sales of broilers as the early arrival of summer this year has hit broiler consumption of Indian poultry industry.
Indian poultry industry insiders also point to the lower production of the birds contributing to the broiler price hike. Broiler supply to the market is hit in the summer as broiler birds die of heat stroke. Existing broiler birds could be low-weight as they eat less during summer.
“Broiler Poultry mortality almost doubles in the summer,” said S N Raghunath of the Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association. “If it is 5-6% during other seasons, it goes up to 10-12% in summer. The feeding levels of the broiler birds also drop by 30% as they pant more in intense heat.”
A few weeks ago, a kilo of broiler chicken had cost between Rs 200 to Rs 230, while now retail outlets are selling it at Rs 250 per kilo. Coupled with people’s apprehension to eat broiler chicken and eggs during summer, selling poultry on the same day has become a struggle for traders.
Retailers manage to preserve the broiler’s freshness the next day in other seasons, but the summer heat has made it difficult to preserve it.“We store broiler chicken at a certain temperature in our chillers. In summer, if we do not sell broiler chicken till the end of the day, it becomes stale,” said a vendor of Suguna Chicken in Kathriguppe.
Not just broilers, even eggs spoil if stored in unfavourable conditions. “We don’t have a specific cooling system for eggs,” said the manager at Venky’s chicken in Varthur.“Their usual shelf life is five to seven days, but they wouldn’t last more than three days in summer. But sales is not hit because people don’t stop eating eggs and it is used in almost all bakery items.”
Since monsoon is not far away, retailers hope chicken business would get brisk soon. They also issue a warning that egg rates and broiler rates will remain marginally high if supplies dwindle and the demand increases.
Source – deccanherald.com