Poultry prices on a high, consumers chicken out

Business City

Consumers in Bangalore are buying less poultry this month than the previous few months.

The prices of poultry are increasing consistently every few days. Poultry dealers in the city find that sales have dipped due to the high prices.

R H Malli, a chicken shop owner said, “There has been no decrease in price this month in fact they are increasing by Rs.10 every few days which is more than a five per cent increase.”

Khalid Khan, a poultry wholesaler in Kengeri explained that on January 12 the price of broiler wholesale chicken was Rs.98 per 500 grams, but increased to Rs. 100 on Jan 13 and Rs.113 on Jan 16. The prices of layer wholesale poultry, parent wholesale poultry and broiler retail prices are similar. “Therefore, the prices of poultry are on the increase but for this month they do not seem stable to us,” said Khan.

Moreover, the sale of poultry has been on the decline in January. In Malli’s view, the reason for this can be the festive season. “There are certain months in which people restrict non-vegetarian food from their diet. But, it means a loss to my business,” he said.

Inayat Khan, federal secretary of the Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Traders Association (KPFTA) said “production has been constant for the past month as the sales were good. That’s why the production is in surplus this month but the sales are unfortunately low which is affecting business.”

Lalita, who had come to the market to buy poultry said, “We usually buy chicken once a week but for the past three weeks we did not consume it, as we had a religious occasion in our house.” However, she didn’t know that prices had gone up because she does not buy chicken regularly.

The poultry sale was very good in December Khalid said, contrasting with the this month. He attributed the dip in sales to the festive season as well as the increased prices. “When prices increase, regular consumers generally cut down on poultry for a few days in a week,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Karnataka Poultry Traders Association (KPTA) said that keeping the previous month’s sales in mind, the consumption this month was expected to be higher but that did not happen. “We think that this will pass by soon and the market will come to normal in the coming weeks,” he said.

India’s consumption is four kilograms of chicken per person per year, which is low in comparison to the global market. At present 92 per cent of poultry products are sold through unorganized wet markets, retail markets by doing on-spot slaughtering and about eight per cent is sold through branded retail outlets explained Dr Sushant Rai, President of KPTA in an interview.

Karnataka ranks fifth place in both egg and meat production in India.