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Move over bird flu, chicken gets `very costly' wings

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LOOK WHO'S WATCHING... : Chicken rates have shot up almost double the normal rate in Hyderabad, thanks to Christmas and New Year celebrations. - Photo: Mohd. Yousuf
LOOK WHO'S WATCHING... : Chicken rates have shot up almost double the normal rate in Hyderabad, thanks to Christmas and New Year celebrations. - Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

Staff Reporter

Soaring egg, chicken prices put a spoke in Christmas festivities, shortage in supply blamed

HYDERABAD: The usual season discounts and price cuts that mark Christmas sales are missing in one particular sector of the city market, one that adds quite a few wings to the festivity.

Chicken and egg prices are soaring in the twin cities, and both being crucial ingredients of household Christmas menu, this has stung the celebrations badly. While chicken prices have shot up from Rs.35-40 to Rs.80-90 in the last two months, egg prices have gone up from Rs.1.15 to Rs.1.75 apiece and in some places, up to Rs.2 as well.

The turnaround in the poultry sector has led to this contrasting scenario, compared to the situation five months ago when the bird flu scare had sent chicken prices in retail markets across the city plummeting to as low as Rs.25-35 per kg.

However, this is not being attributed to the season, and neither is it a result of the bird flu blues being forgotten. "Chicken feed costs have shot up from Rs.550-600 per quintal to Rs.800 per quintal and above. The industry is under a crisis as many have sold off their farms, unable to recover from the bird flu effect," Andhra Pradesh Poultry Federation president K. Narayan Reddy says.

The `breaking cost' of chicken at the farms is Rs.35, which has translated into double that rate in the retail market, more so because of the shortage in supply, Mr. Reddy observes.

Slight dip in sales

Traders are not sure as to when the high prices will come down, according to Sambasiva Rao, who runs three retail outlets in Lothkunta, Alwal and Bowenpally. However, he says sales, in spite of a slight dip, are not doing bad.

"That, perhaps, is because both chicken and eggs are almost indispensable for Christmas menu ," he says.


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