Prices of eggs have fallen 10 per cent, from Rs 3 per egg a month earlier, owing to production outpacing demand. It is expected that by Diwali, the prices would fall further.
At current prices, which are also lower than in the year-ago period, poultry farmers are incurring losses. Selling prices of eggs now stand at Rs 2.80-2.90 in most areas. A year earlier, wholesale prices stood at about Rs 3 an egg, while these ranged from Rs 2.40 to Rs 2.50 an egg in the corresponding period of 2010.
Sporadic instances of avian influenza in Bangalore have affected the demand for eggs in surrounding areas, said P Tamil Arson, director of Pepe Farms Namakkal. Of the total egg production of 35 million per day in these areas, 15 million are exported to Kerala. However, as the government of Kerala had now imposed a ban on the import of eggs from Karnataka, owing to reports of avian influenza, there was a glut in the market, he said. Also, in the festive season, the demand for eggs is sluggish.
Retailers have substantial stocks and there is a demand-supply mismatch, which results in a fall in prices.
Shabeer Ahmed Khan, convenor of the Poultry Federation of India, said the production cost of an egg was Rs 3.30. He added it might take two weeks for the prices to rise to a realistic level. Achin Banerjee of Egg Industries, Raipur, said, “The late harvest of crops has affected the demand for eggs in rural regions, as eggs are not a staple commodity.
Rural consumers are now saving for Diwali. Also, due to school holidays, the demand of eggs for midday meals has also dropped.” High average day temperatures have also hit demand. Once the day temperature falls, the demand may increase, said Devinder Ahlawat, general secretary of Haryana Poultry Farmers Association.