June 15, 2011


Indian poultry farmers hit by rising costs, lower demand



Indian poultry farmers have been affected by a rise in input costs and lower consumption rates, making it hard for them to recover production costs amid a drop in retail prices.


The cost of production of a chicken has increased by around INR5-INR6 (US$0.11-US$0.13) during the last few weeks, Ricky Thapar, Treasurer for Poultry Federation of India (PFI), said.


The average cost of producing a bird is INR60 presently. It ranged in between INR50-INR52 (US$1.3-US$1.34) a bird a month back, traders said.


This has been pinching more to the poultry farmers because of slump in the prices.


Wholesale live weight broiler prices in Delhi and adjoining areas have decreased to INR56-INR60 (US$1.2-US$1.3) per kg, down from INR65-INR70 (US$1.4-1.6) per kg that prevailed a few weeks back.


This has led to a drop in retail prices of dressed broilers to INR90-INR100 (US$2-US$2.2) a kg from INR120-INR130 (US$2.7-US$2.9) per kg a month ago.


Usage of sprinkler pipes and water coolers in the scorching summer to keep birds cool have also increased the input costs of broilers, Thapar added.


Rearing birds in the summers not only requires additional expenditures but also extra space. Otherwise, production comes down leading to drop in supplies.


"We are barely able to survive despite decline in the feed prices," Thapar added.


According to Thapar, prices of soymeal, a key component in poultry feed, have declined to INR17,100 (US$382) per tonne at present, down from INR17,800 (US$398) per tonne a month back.


This is attributed to decline in exports of soymeal because of sluggish global demand.


Similarly, because of a bumper corn crop in Bihar, the prices of corn, another important constituent of feedmeal, have also declined to INR12,500 (US$280) per tonne at present, down from INR13,400 (US$300) per tonne last month.


At present, poultry feed prices are quoted at INR19,000 (US$425) per tonne, down from INR20,000 (US$447) per tonne reported a week back. Farmers have also been affected because the summer months have also brought down the demand for broilers.


Industry sources said poultry demand dropped this summer season as vegetable prices have been stable, unlike the usually high demand during the hot seasons.

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