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Chicken dearer in the cold

Tough times for non-vegetarians in Delhi as the prices of raw chicken are witnessing an upward march and the bird flu scare has little to do with it, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

delhi Updated: Jan 23, 2008 02:49 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

These are tough times for the veritable non-vegetarians in Delhi. Prices of raw chicken are witnessing an upward march and the bird flu scare has little to do with it.

According to Indian Poultry Association in Ghazipur, hub of Delhi's poultry trade, there is a huge mismatch in demand and supply of broiler chicken. As a result, the wholesale price of chicken has moved several notches up, threatening to make that plate of Chicken Tandoori a trifle dearer.

“The demand for every thousand is being met with the supply of just about 700 chicken every day,” said Mohammad Umar Puppi, president of the association. On Tuesday, broiler chicken was sold for Rs 48 per kg at Ghazipur, which is almost Rs 10 more than usual.

Delhi gets its share of broiler chicken from neighbouring Haryana and Rajasthan. As per the Indian Poultry Association, severe cold wave during December and January has affected breeding of chicken in these two states this year. “The supply to Delhi has decreased by 35 per cent, while the demand has remained constant,” he said.

As a rippling effect, neighbourhood retailers-halal or jhatka-are making a killing. Chicken is being sold for anywhere between Rs 80 and 100.

While the price of chicken is going for a toss, the price of egg is coming down for completely different reasons. As per Md Ibrahim Egg Traders, Chandni Chowk, a small section of Delhiites have been omitting eggs from their menu of late thanks to the bird flu scare. "In the past one week, we have seen a 25 per cent decrease in the demand for eggs,” said Mohammad Ibrahim.

But he added that the demand seemed to be picking up again as on Tuesday.