June 2, 2015


Prices of chicken up, feeds down amid India heat wave



The El Niño weather phenomenon, characterised by dry conditions, decreased rainfall and warmer air temperatures, has wreaked havoc on India not only causing deaths among humans but also on livestock.


A Reuters report said that the heat wave has killed over 17 million birds last month, and the toll may continue to rise in June. The weather department expects rains to start on June 4.


During summer the usual bird mortality is 2-3%, but the abnormally high temperature hovering at 45 degrees Celsius and above caused the figure to rise to 10%, according to Prasanna Pedgaonkar, deputy general manager of chicken processor Venky's.


The deaths of millions of broiler chickens in May led to a 35% rise in wholesale chicken prices in western India to a record 95 rupees ($1.49) per kg.


"Temperatures need to go down. Further extension of the heat wave by a week can kill a few more million birds", Pedgaonkar said.


But the situation has also led to lower demand for feeds, dealing a big blow to local producers of corn and other grains.


Before this, India's corn producers had been grappling with low global prices due to record US and South American production.


"In the last two to three weeks poultry feed demand has fallen nearly 30 percent", K V Krishna Charan, general manager of Komaral Feeds and Foods Pvt Ltd, was quoted as saying by Reuters.


The weak demand reportedly caused a drop in the prices of corn and soymeal by almost 4%.

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