Chicken turns sour for consumers
As prices hit record highs in the State The farm-gate price of Suguna live birds, which was Rs 88 a kg on June 1, has gone up to Rs 107. The...
As prices hit record highs in the State The farm-gate price of Suguna live birds, which was Rs 88 a kg on June 1, has gone up to Rs 107. The dressed chicken price increased from Rs 152 to Rs 185. The skinless variety cost is Rs 214 a kg P Madhusudhan Reddy Hyderabad: For all those who look to enjoy cool weather with a dose of non-vegetarian dishes, record chicken prices in the State are leaving bitter taste. Dressed chicken price reached an unprecedented level of Rs 184-a-kg in the city, while its skinless variety crossed the Rs 200-a-kg mark and hovered at Rs 214 on Sunday, a record of sorts in the recent history. However, poultry farmers who incurred huge losses last year and till recently this year are a happy lot as they could recover some of the losses. Industry bodies say the price rise is a temporary phenomenon and prices will cool in a week or two. "Prices have risen in the past few weeks from Rs 85 to Rs 107-a-kg for live broiler birds at farm gate. As a result, the prices of skinless chicken went beyond Rs 200 mark. This is a temporary phenomenon and prices will ease in a week or two," D Sudhakar, President, Andhra Pradesh Poultry Federation, told The Hans India. According to available information, the farm-gate price of Suguna live birds, which was Rs 88-a-kg on June 1, increased to Rs 107 by Sunday. The wholesale rate went from Rs 95 to Rs 115, while the retail price zoomed from Rs 102 to Rs 126 per kg for live birds during the 16-day period. The dressed chicken price increased from Rs 152 to Rs 185, while the skinless variety cost Rs 214 on Sunday as against Rs 178-a-kg on June 1. Industry bodies and traders claimed that mortality rate of broiler chicks increased in the past two months on account of the summer heat, water shortage and power cuts. Average weight of the birds also remained low during the summer season, they add. "These are some of the reasons why prices have witnessed a spurt in the past two weeks. With the onset of monsoon, mortality rate will invariably come down and so are also the prices," a trader involved in the business said. According to Sudhakar, there is no cartelization among farmers and traders to jack up chicken prices in the State. "Farmers raise 3.5 crore broiler chicks every month for consumption in the State. The capacity which was under 3-crore mark last year went up to 3.5 crore now. This is an indication that we have never tried to create artificial scarcity of chicken," he explained. Poultry industry has been reeling under financial stress for the past couple of years as feed prices went up abnormally. "The cost of production which was at around Rs 60 per kg in 2012 went up to Rs 75 now. But farmers got just Rs 58 per kg of chicken on an average during 2012 and as a result incurred huge losses last year," Sudhakar said.