January 11, 2021
India's broiler chicken prices drop after bird flu detected in six states
India's poultry industry officials said broiler chicken prices have dropped by almost a third in a week, along with reduced consumption after bird flu outbreaks were reported in six states, Reuters reported.
The lower demand and falling prices have added to the concerns of small poultry farmers in India, as millions of these farmers have just recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic that affected sales last year.
Uddhav Ahire, chairman of Anand Agro Group, said demand has dropped by close to 30%. The company is based in Nashik city, west of the country.
He said broiler chicken prices have dropped to INR 60 (~US$0.8192; INR 1 = US$0.014) per kg from INR 90 (~US$1.23) last week, adding that farmers are suffering losses as production costs are higher than INR 75 (~US$1.02).
Bird flu has reported in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, and Gujarat states.
Central and state governments in India have tried to alleviate consumer fears, stating that chicken and egg consumption are safe after cooking.
Prasanna Pedgaonkar, general manager of poultry-focused Venky's, said this is a temporary disruption to the poultry industry, which will correct itself in 15-20 days. Shares in Venky's fell more than 10% this week.
Prices for eggs have also dropped by more than 10% in a week. Poultry farmers are trying to sell their produce quickly as they are concerned about prices falling further.
The poultry industry in India was affected by heavy losses after speculation of chickens contributed to the spread of COVID-19 spread through social media, while demand fell after lockdowns were imposed to contain the pandemic.