Egg farmgate price surges to record on soaring costs of inputs

Subramani Ra Mancombu |Gayathri G | | Updated on: Jun 27, 2022
There is a shortage of layer birds which has contributed to the fall in egg supply

There is a shortage of layer birds which has contributed to the fall in egg supply

Demand up as schools reopen, consumers look to substitute costlier vegetables

Farmgate prices of eggs across the country have surged to record highs as input costs for rearing layer and broiler birds have increased sharply in the last few weeks, while the demand is also on the rise as consumers are also looking to substitute costly vegetables, particularly in Tamil Nadu.

“The price of an egg has been fixed at a record ₹5.50 at Namakkal by the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC). Prices have been increased in relation to the surge in feed prices,” said V S Balasubramaniam, Assistant General Manager, NECC, Namakkal. 

Egg prices are the highest in Kolkata, where it was quoted at ₹5.90 apiece on Monday. Prices are ruling at ₹5.85 in Mumbai and Pune, ₹5.80 in Lucknow and ₹5.70 in Chennai.  At some retail outlets in Chennai, egg was priced at ₹8.  

Earlier record

“Earlier during October 3-14, 2020, egg prices hit a record ₹5.25 per piece. Last week, prices topped the record and had ended at ₹5.35,” Balasubramaniam said. 

“Input costs have increased from ₹18 a year ago to ₹30-32 now. Corn (maize) prices have increased from ₹17 to ₹26 in the last few weeks, while soyameal which averaged ₹32 a year ago had topped ₹100 at one point in time before dropping to ₹62-65 a kg now,” said Vangili Subramanian, president, Tamil Nadu Egg Poultry Farmers Marketing Society (PFMS).

“There is a 46 per cent rise in soyameal prices over the past year,” said Balasubramaniam. 

Labour costs

Subramanian said labour costs have gone by 20-30 per cent, while edible oils, given for the birds to get energy, have almost doubled in the past year. 

“The record rise in egg prices means nothing for farmers growing layer birds. At the most, they will gain ₹0.15-0.20. Also, the spike will not last for long,” the PFMS president said. 

There are a couple of reasons why egg prices have increased. One, there is a shortage of layer birds and most growers had not hatched chicks in view of the poor returns. “At least, a shortage of one crore birds exists as nearly 20 per cent of the poultry farms have shut due to losses in view of the huge rise in input prices,” said Subramanian. 

Pointing out the rise in chicken prices recently, the PFMS president said prices have now dropped to ₹100-105 from ₹140, earlier this month. “Our input costs for a broiler bird is ₹105,” he said. 

Rise in demand

Balasubramaniam said demand for eggs has increased in Tamil Nadu as prices of vegetables have shot up. “Tomato had nearly touched ₹100 a kg and has come down to ₹30 now. Barring onion and potato, no vegetable is priced competitively. It has led to people shifting to eggs,” he said. 

With the schools opening for the academic year, eggs are in demand in Tamil Nadu for distribution in the free noon meal scheme. The State government procures nearly 50 lakh eggs a day for the scheme. “The monsoon has set in and with rains lashing parts of Kerala, there is demand from that part of the country as well,” said the NECC official. 

 The PFMS president said poultry farmers have also been affected since schemes to provide them aid during the Covid pandemic times have ended. 

Published on June 27, 2022
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