In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdown, an industry that has faced its adverse effects is the poultry industry. In Tamil Nadu specifically, the price of eggs is at an all-time high. The price for a single egg has crossed the Rs 5 mark for the first time in Namakkal, as compared to the normal price of Rs 3-4. Wholesale egg dealers, who transport their products to several parts of north India, attribute this price hike to increasing demand there. However, the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) predicts that prices will decrease during Dussehra.
Another reason for this price inflation is that, since the weather in north India is optimum, egg dealers are storing eggs and driving up the prices, according to Ganesan, president of Pudur Madurai Chamber of Commerce. “Winter has started in a few parts of north India, helping the storage of eggs. The eggs from Namakkal are also transported to Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and northern parts of the country,” he added.
“The price of eggs is determined based on the supply. Since we are supplying the northern parts, the prices are increasing. However, the price will reduce during Dussehra. Even though Tamil Nadu observes the Purattasi month, where non-vegetarian consumption reduces, many COVID-19 patients are given eggs as part of their diet. We are also getting hospital orders, increasing the demand,” said Ganesan.
Reiterating that the supply of eggs to other parts of the country has led to the increase in price, P Selvaraj, the Chairman of the NECC, said that prices may decrease soon as they have reached a peak.
Selvaraj said, “There is a vegetable shortage in north India. So, the eggs are transported to the northern parts of the country creating a shortage and leading to a price hike. The eggs are also transported to Andhra Pradesh.”
The prices of eggs have reached a peak and will not further increase, he said. “I think we have reached the peak of the price hike. From now on, the prices will only subside. However, we were producing 3.5 crores of eggs but now we are now able to produce 3 crore eggs,” he added. The coronavirus pandemic forced the egg dealers to decrease production this season, he said.
On reviving the market for poultry, Selvaraj said, “If the same prices continue without any major slump till January then we will be able to revive the market. The rumours that eating chicken will lead to coronavirus affected our markets a lot.”