May 29, 2024

Bengaluru, southern Karnataka, India, sees chicken prices rising past US$3.61 for first time


Chicken prices in Bengaluru, southern Karnataka, India, have crossed ₹300 (US$3.61) for the first time due to high consumption, extreme weather conditions and increased feed costs.

Vendors predict prices may rise further in the coming days.

In Bengaluru, a kilogramme of skinless chicken is retailing for between ₹300 and ₹350 (US$4.21), compared to ₹220-280 (US$2.65-3.37) a few weeks ago. Broiler chicken with skin on is selling for ₹280, up from ₹200-220.

Live chicken is priced between ₹156 (US$1.88) and ₹157 (US$1.89) per kilo in the wholesale market and ₹180 (US$2.17) to ₹200 (US$2.41) in the retail market.

According to poultry farm owners, extreme heat is reducing the life expectancy of chickens, driving up prices.

Explaining the reasons for the sudden price increase, SR Kumaraswamy, who runs Karthik Poultry Farm in Srinagar, said that about 30% of chicks die within two weeks of birth due to their inability to adapt to extreme temperatures.

"The temperature in the past two months was too extreme for chicks to survive," he said. "Usually, 45 days after birth, the chicks would weigh at least 2kg. But this year, it was too hard for them to eat adequate amounts of feed served to them. Many chicks in my farm died because of this."

Satish Babu, Mysuru Zonal chairman of the National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC), said: "While higher temperatures are the primary reason chicks could not survive, another reason for higher mortality is the Ranikhet or Newcastle disease, which is viral and affects a large number of chickens if one is infected. Higher mortality of chickens this summer is a common concern even in neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala."

He added that the price of ingredients for chicken feed had also increased. Corn, a key ingredient in chicken feed, is priced at ₹26,500 (US$318.98) per tonne while soybean costs ₹46,000 (US$553.70) per tonne. The supply of broken rice, extensively used in chicken feed production, is very low compared to previous years. A large quantity of broken rice is now supplied to ethanol industries.

DK Kantharaj, a former chairman of Karnataka Co-operative Poultry Federation Limited, said prices would come down only after 45 days.

- Deccan Herald

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