Demand up while supply from Tamil Nadu falls

The price of egg has soared to an all-time high to touch Rs.4 in the retail markets here.

Wholesale egg dealers in Kollam said a fall in production and an increase in demand were among the factors that had led to the rise in price. The recent increase in the price of feed had also contributed to the price hike.

A. Salafuddin, wholesaler here, said the price of egg went up by 20 paise each post-Onam, and demand too climbed. At the same time, production in the Namakkal poultry belt in Tamil Nadu, the prime source of egg for Kerala markets, fell owing to various reasons, he said. The Namakkal wholesale rate on Sunday stood at Rs.3.54 paise per egg.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., eggs were not available in the wholesale markets of Kollam. More than 1,500 retailers had demanded eggs during the period. Mr. Salafuddin said the arrival of a truckload of eggs from Namakkal shortly after 6 p.m. brought some relief.

On Sunday too, there was a shortage in the market. Supply had been short since the past one week. Only half the orders placed by the wholesalers were being supplied. The paradox was that while there was hardly anyone to purchase eggs at the rate of 50 paise each during the bird flu threat in 2004, today when demand was high and the price was touching Rs.4 each, eggs were hardly available in the market, he said.

Siva Moorthy, one of the Namakkal-based egg suppliers to Kerala, said the State needed more than one crore eggs a day but supply had dropped to a little over 50 lakh eggs. Talking to The Hindu over telephone, Mr. Siva Moorthy said egg production in the Namakkal poultry belt, which yielded close to 3.5 crore eggs a day, had fallen sharply.

He said consumption of eggs in the northern parts of the country after the conclusion of the festival season had risen, leading to an increase in price in those areas, and this had had its effect in the Namakkal belt. A seasoned egg supplier, he felt that the egg price would continue to go north. A downward trend could be expected only by November.

Keywords: egg price hike

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