Egg prices set to soar after Easter; here’s why

By: | Updated: March 31, 2017 2:40 AM

Indian egg prices are likely to go up after Easter on higher demand and seasonal drop in production, traders said. Demand for egg is estimated to remain robust in the country due to the lower per capita consumption.

India now stands as the fifth-largest producer of eggs and the 18th largest producer of broilers in the world. (Reuters)

Indian egg prices are likely to go up after Easter on higher demand and seasonal drop in production, traders said. Demand for egg is estimated to remain robust in the country due to the lower per capita consumption. An easing in the price of the poultry feed has helped the farmers manage even with prices staying at almost the same level.

India now stands as the fifth-largest producer of eggs and the 18th largest producer of broilers in the world. APEDA data shows a steady increase in the production of eggs and broilers at a rate of 8-10% per annum. However, per capita availability of eggs is around 63 per year while it should be about 180 eggs per person according to the National Nutrition Institute. The ministry is expecting a total production 87.05 billion eggs by the end of the financial year.

“The market price of `3.45-3.50 per egg is not very good. But with feed prices on a decline after years of steady increase we can manage. The market will improve in 10-15 days with seasonal decline in production. Production of eggs decline during the summer months,” said C Rajendran, secretary of the Tamil Nadu Egg and Poultry Farmers Federation. Culling of birds is also expected to support egg prices. Rajendran added that the export market for eggs is also seen sluggish.

Egg prices decline in the summer months of March to May as consumers cut back on consumption, and begin to soar again from August, usually peaking out in December and January. Sasti Kumar of Ponni Group estimates the market to see better days as domestic consumption increases in the days to come. “Currently the egg prices are moderate and almost at the same price last year. Lower feed prices have helped the farmers get better returns,” he said.

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“Domestic demand is robust and estimated to increase after Easter. With many states adding egg to the noon-meal scheme, the demand for egg will remain good in the coming days,” he added. Rating agency Icra reports that after four years of muted profitability, the Indian poultry industry is expected to witness significant improvement in profits in FY17, largely supported by lower soy meal prices and remunerative broiler and table egg realisations.

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