Andhra Pradesh poultry farmers have suffered significant losses in the last few weeks, as prices of chicken plummeted due to a fall in demand.

This reflects the trend in the poultry sector in the rest of the country also, according to the Andhra Pradesh Poultry Federation.

Farmers are currently selling live chicken at Rs 43-45 a kg, while the cost of production is about Rs 60 a kg in the State.

“In fact, the price had fallen to Rs 27 a kg at the farm level some weeks ago. We expect the demand to pick up in the coming weeks, nudging up prices,” D. Sudhakar, President of the Federation, told Business Line.

At the retail level, prices of dressed chicken in most parts of the State have fallen to Rs 80 a kg from about Rs 120 two months ago.

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 a quintal three months ago to about Rs 4,000 now, 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 3.5 crore live birds every month, which is one-third of the country's production, apart from six crore eggs a day. The poultry industry in the State is estimated at Rs 20,000 crore.

The industry is now trying to imbibe new technology to reduce production costs and increase profitability.

Against this background, the State poultry industry is organising a two-day international exhibition of poultry equipment in Hyderabad from November 28. “We expect the exhibition to record a footfall of 20,000 visitors, as against 18,500 visitors last year. This year, 225 exhibitors from India and 13 from overseas will put up stalls,” Sudhakar said.

(This article was published on November 26, 2012)
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