Chandigarh: The price of a dressed chicken has touched an all-time low as it is quoted at Rs 38 a kg in the retail market. In the wholesale it was between Rs 32 and Rs 35 a kg. Interestingly, the minimum price of ladoos in the region is Rs 45 per kg.
Unprecedented slash in the rate is attributed to the glut in production, besides the seasonal drop in consumption on account of "shradhs" and "navratras".
Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Surjit Singh Sagri, president, North Zone Broiler Breeders Association, said the prices of chicken had dropped drastically throughout the country.
The wholesale rate of a live chicken was quoted at Rs 26 a kg in Kolkata, Rs 23 in Nasik, Rs 28 in Mumbai, Rs 23 in Jalandhar, Rs 21 in Chandigarh and Rs 19 in Sirsa. On an average, the price of a dressed chicken is 50 to 60 per cent more than of the live chicken.
"We do not foresee any substantial increase in chicken prices in the coming months because all big broiler breeders have large stocks. Since the prices of poultry feed are rising because of shortage of maize, poultry farmers are trying to market small-size birds so as to reduce the cost of their production. A dressed chicken, which is being sold for Rs 38 a kg in the retail market, is costing a breeder Rs 32 to Rs 35 a kg," reveals Mr Sagri.
A survey by The Tribune revealed that though there was no uniformity in the retail price of a dressed chicken, in certain pockets the rate was between Rs 38 and Rs 40 a kg. In Chandigarh, both in Sector 41 and Sector 42, a dressed chicken was selling at Rs 38 a kg.
Similarly, in Sirsa, it was selling at Rs 40 a kg. In various Punjab markets, the rate varied between Rs 38 and Rs 45 a kg. The problem, says Mr Sagri, arose because of a slump in southern India where the price of a live chicken dropped to a low of Rs 14 a kg. Because of the steep drop in the prices, many farmers in South India have cut down their production for the coming months.
Anticipating an increased demand from South India, many of the breeders in North India went for an increased production as hatcheries, with no takers in the South, diverted their supplies to the North. Fresh chicks were sold for Rs 2 to 5 a piece against the normal price of Rs 6 a piece.
The other reason attributed for the drop in the prices of chicken has been the entry of integrators or bigger players who boast of large production capacities. Insiders in the poultry industry feel that the coming of the integrators has started ringing the death bells for smaller and marginal poultry farmers as they may not be able to survive the onslaught of the cut prices