Poultry, mutton prices up by 20% over sudden increase in winter demand

The price of poultry products and mutton have risen by up to 20 per cent in a month, due to a sudden increase in consumer demand with a record fall in temperature this winter.

Mutton is retailing in Mumbai at Rs 600 a kg, from Rs 500 a kg about a month before. That of broiler chicken is Rs 150-160 a kg, as compared to Rs 130 a kg earlier.

The demand for mutton, chicken and eggs normally increases with onset of winter. The minimum temperature in Delhi was three degress celsius two days ago, the lowest for that day for a century.

“Demand for mutton is also coming from South Indian states; supply from Rajasthan and Maharashtra was insufficient,” said Shahnaz Thanawala, president, Bombay Mutton Dealers Association to Business Standard. A large number of dealers are reported to have come from South Indian states to buy a large quantity of goat meat.  A couple of retailers say goat supply from Maharashtra has declined after a large number of animals died in the devastating floods last year.

Prices of chicken, fish and eggs have also risen sharply. That of fish and organic chicken have risen by 15-20 per cent, and of broiler chicken and eggs by 12-13 per cent across the country.

Tandoori chicken in Delhi is now Rs 98 a kg, from Rs 73 a kg in early December. The National Egg Coordination Committee says the price is Rs 515 for 100 numbers in Mumbai, from the earlier level of Rs 496 per 100. “The cost of poultry production has jumped significantly due to a sharp increase in feed prices. All feeds — soybean, maize, oilmeal, bajra — have become costlier by 15-20 per cent in the past few months. With less working capital available from banks, small poultry farms have turned uneconomical and have closed,” says Ramesh Khatri, president, Poultry Federation of India, as reported by Business Standard.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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