Eggs and chicken may become dearer in Andhra Pradesh in the coming weeks.

Facing a nearly 40 per cent rise in input costs, the Andhra Pradesh poultry industry may pass on a slice of the burden to the consumers.

This is part of a nation-wide trend, with the domestic poultry industry smarting under spiralling prices of key feed ingredients such as maize and soya meal. The price of soya cake has surged from about Rs 1,800/quintal three months ago to about Rs 3,350 currently, industry players say.

Increase in prices of these inputs is attributed to the recent rise in exports, which is tightening domestic supplies.

Andhra Pradesh produces six crore eggs a day and three crore broilers a month, accounting for one-third and one-tenth of the country’s production respectively.

Mr D. Sudhakar, President of the Andhra Pradesh Poultry Federation, said the industry may have to raise egg and chicken prices by at least 5-10 per cent if the input prices do not fall.

Currently, eggs are sold at Rs 3.50- 4 each and dressed chicken at about Rs 180 a kg in the State.

“The average egg price realised by the farmer in 2011 was Rs 2.30 each against the production cost of Rs 2.50. The same for broiler was Rs 40-42 per bird, against the production cost of Rs 55 per bird. Poultry farmers continue to face losses, with many smaller farms being closed down,” Mr Sudhakar told media persons here on Tuesday.

The federation also fears that imposition of market cess on eggs and chicken by the State Government may put further pressure on prices. The State Government had exempted eggs and chicken from market fee for a period of five years, which is due for expiry on August 4, 2012.

“Egg traders charge one paise commission on each egg. If market cess is imposed, it also has to be passed on to the farmer, adding to our pricing pressure,” he said.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 26, 2012)
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