July 4, 2011


India's weak egg demand keeps prices stable



Both seasonal ambiguities and consumer resistance are causing the poultry industry to be stagnant again as prices of eggs, which rose with the onset of monsoon, stayed almost sluggish for a week at INR2.68 a piece (US$0.06).


Meanwhile, broiler prices slide by INR8/kg (US$0.18) to INR43/kg (US$0.97) in a week owing to consumer resistance and less demand.


With the summer drawing to a close, off-take of poultry products is on the rise and to keep the demand apace, the Namakkal-based National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) has decided to retain last week's prices. Egg prices touched a record INR3.02 (US$0.068) in January while broiler prices skyrocketed to INR75/kg (US$1.69) during March-April.


Coupled with an ever-increasing domestic demand, pricey fish in neighbouring Kerala and the re-opening of schools, a major consumer of eggs under the noon-meal scheme, egg prices perked up gradually. But the industry, back in black after a temporary lull during summer, does not want to face consumer resistance by hiking the rates further, and hence, has decided to keep the rates flat.


Meanwhile, prices of layer birds decreased by INR5/kg (US$0.11) to INR40 (US$0.90). The trade is mulling to approach the government with a minimum-guarantee price proposal to offset losses incurred by farmers due to seasonal uncertainties and geopolitical woes. Dwindling exports to the Gulf countries is a cause of concern to the poultry industry. The ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo is likely to give a fillip to the industry. During the last quarter of 2010 fiscal, India has exported around 18 lakh eggs to Sri Lanka.

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