The poultry hub has witnessed a steady increase in wholesale egg price as it has increased from Rs. 2.35 on February 5 to Rs. 2.80 on Monday (up by 23 per cent). The Rate Fixation Committee of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), Namakkal Zone, increased its price by nine paise from Rs. 2.71, on Saturday.

This is much higher than the commodity's price during the same season in 2011, when its price dropped drastically from Rs. 2.35 in the second week of January to Rs. 2.10 in the third and fourth weeks. Average price in February during the yesteryears has been much lower at Rs. 2.25 (2011), Rs. 2.40 (2010) and Rs. 1.97 (2009), but this month the average so far is around Rs. 2.52.

According to an NECC source, the driving force behind this hike was the unexpected extension of winter in the northern states. “Usually the winter in those states came to an end by the end of January but this time it is likely to prolong till the end of this month,” he said and added that this has led to increase in egg consumption and triggered good price for egg.

“Though eggs from Namakkal is not going to the North, there is a slight increase in the consumption in the domestic markets – Tamil Nadu (110 lakh eggs a day) and Kerala (90 lakh eggs a day) – as the weather is cold during the morning hours,” the official said. This according to him has helped poultry farmers maintain the price of egg in this zone. Of the daily production of 310 lakh eggs in this zone, export is also good with nearly 30 lakh eggs exported everyday against the average 10 lakh eggs exported everyday, last year. He said that the existing rate in Namakkal is, however, lesser than other zones and continuance of the same depends on the winter in the North and prices announced by other zones.

Average egg rate in other major NECC zones across the country (on Monday) is as follows: Kolkata – Rs. 3.50, Varanasi – Rs. 3.19, Luknow – Rs. 3.07, Kanpur – Rs. 3.05, Allahabad – Rs. 2.90, Delhi – Rs. 2.87, Ahmedabad – Rs. 2.85, Pune – Rs. 2.82, Mumbai and Miraj – Rs. 2.80.