July 14, 2008

India's egg prices to rise on high feed cost

India's egg prices in the retail market could increase to Rs 36 per dozen from Rs 30, as corn and soy cake prices nearly doubled over the past one year.

Eggs could sell at Rs 3 per unit in retail market but it will be around Rs 250 per hundred in the wholesale market.

Vasant Patil, a Nerul-based wholesaler said egg prices in wholesale market has jumped to Rs 210 per hundred in the past few months, but sold for Rs 30 per dozen in retail market. Eggs at Apna Bazaar are also sold at Rs 25 per dozen.

The rise in feed cost has forced poultry farmers to either close their farms or reduce production.

Corn prices have climbed to Rs 12 from Rs 7 while one tonne of soy cake is now sold at Rs 22,000 compared to Rs 10,000 last year, according to Moreshwar Desai, zonal chairman of National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC).

However, egg rate were not adjusted accordingly and as a result the poultry farmers were burdened by rising feed costs, leaving them with no choice but to increase egg prices, Desai said.

Considering the current situation, NECC expects about 25 percent of poultry farms to shut down soon while the rest could reduce production.

"The sudden increase in feed cost has severely affected the small poultry owners who are on the verge of closing their farms, but we are suggesting them to sell few hens and bring down their feed cost. This way they can generate some revenue which will help them to sustain the current losses. We will also increase the egg prices which will again benefit these poultry owners," Desai said.

US$1 = Rs 42.620 (July 14, 2008)

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