1. Animal Husbandry

Broiler Chicken Price Increases Due to Higher Feed Cost

Wholesale prices of live broiler chickens are now ruling at Rs 138-140 per kg throughout key producing states, according to trade sources, up from roughly Rs 120 per kg a year ago.

Shruti Kandwal

Due to rising feed costs and strong demand, broiler chicken meat prices have risen dramatically in recent months. The spike in chicken feed prices, according to the Poultry Federation of India (PFI), has resulted in an increase in production costs, which has pushed up farm gate prices across the nation.

In the summer months, when demand stays high, additional expenditures like as air conditioners and greater power use, as well as labour costs, drive up the cost of broiler production.

Wholesale prices of live broiler chickens are now ruling at Rs 138-140 per kg throughout key producing states, according to trade sources, up from roughly Rs 120 per kg a year ago.

Chicken costs are currently ranging from Rs 240 to Rs 250 per kilograms for the retail customer, compared to Rs 210-220 per kilograms a year ago. Culling a 1-kg live broiler bird yields 650 grammes of meat, according to industry figures.

"This year, the cost of production has grown by 20-25 %," PFI treasurer Ricky Thaper stated.

According to Thaper, the cost of poultry feed has grown to Rs 47,000 per tonne from Rs 42,000 per tonne a year earlier, accounting for about 65 percent of the cost of production for broiler chicks.

Around 60% of poultry feed is grains (maize, broken rice, bajra, or wheat), 35% is soyabean, groundnut, or sunflower meals, and 5% is vitamin premix and calcium.

Feed costs have risen by 25-30% in the previous several months, with maize rates rising from Rs 20,000 per tonne to Rs 25,000 per tonne and soyabean meal rates rising from Rs 55,000 per tonne to Rs 68,000 per tonne.

According to a representative from the Telangana-Andhra Pradesh broiler coordination committee, transportation of broiler chickens has become fairly expensive as summer approaches, and transit mortalities are high. "While demand for poultry meat remains strong, transportation of birds becomes difficult, resulting in more fatality and fewer supply, driving increasing costs," an official explained.

Chicken prices jumped by more than 20.74 % in March 2022 as a result of the price increase, while overall food inflation in the meat and fish category was 9.63 %. However, there was a 3% increase in the price of fish and prawns.

According to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, organised commercial farms generate more than 80% of India's chicken meat, while backyard poultry, largely in rural areas, produces the remaining 20%. Major poultry firms that pursue vertically-integrated operations account for 60-70 percent of commercial broiler production.

In 2020-21, India's poultry meat output is expected to reach 4.44 million tonnes (mt), up from 4.34 mt in the previous fiscal year. More than 80% of the country's poultry meat is produced in Maharashtra, Haryana, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.

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