Egg prices will see a further cut for the second time in five days at the farm gates as lower consumption and the setting in of the austere Sabarimala season have begun to worry the poultry trade.

The Namakkal zone of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), on Thursday, slashed the price of an egg by 15 paise to Rs 3.15.

“We plan to further revise the prices to clear the backlog and boost the offtake,” P. Selvaraj, Chairman, NECC, told Business Line.

The fall is surprising since winter is seen as the peak consumption period, particularly in the North. During the Sabarimala season that extends till January 15, consumption of poultry and related products is low in the South.

Poultry industry sources said that the recent ban on Indian eggs by Oman and neighbouring Kerala has resulted in a stock pile-up.

Added to these is the extended closing of schools for Diwali holidays.

“We cannot allow the stocks to build up as eggs are perishable. At one point of time, we may even have to dump them. We do not want to face such a situation and, hence, we are slashing the prices,” said a source.

About two crore eggs are produced in Namakkal and a bulk of 70 lakh eggs are exported to Kerala.

About 70 lakh eggs are consumed in the State, while the rest are supplied to the Tamil Nadu Government for its Noon Meal Scheme.

About 1.5 crore eggs are supplied every week. Children are given eggs twice a week under the scheme.

NECC has maintained the rate of layer birds at Rs 50/kg while the Broiler Coordination Committee has increased the prices of live birds to Rs 54 (Rs 52).

gayathri.gururajan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 16, 2012)
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