Reports of three cases of avian flu in Delhi are expected to result in a crash in chicken prices as people have started abstaining from buying chicken leading to stock pile-up.
Traders say this is just the beginning and if the bird flu threat remains for a week the prices may fall by more than 50%.
Wholesalers at Ghazipur chicken mandi, one of Asia’s largest livestock market which gets around three lakh chicken daily, said that the market has started to see a dip in chicken supply.
A wholesaler at the market, Imam Murtaza, said, “I generally sell around 700kg chicken but on Friday I could not sell more than 550kg.”
Salim Ilahi, owner of Alsha enterprises, a wholesale shop at Ghazipur market, said, “Bird flu scare has hit the market and the prices of (live) chicken are falling from Rs 80 per kg to Rs 74 per kg. The situation is still under control as we can stock the chicken in cold storage but if the scare persists for some more weeks, you will start seeing offers like ‘One kg chicken free with one kg’ as traders will not even have the option to store it,” he added.
The Delhi government on Wednesday put poultry farms, wholesale markets and avian hot spots under watch after the death of 10 migratory birds at the capital’s zoo sparked fears of bird flu outbreak in Delhi. The Delhi zoo has been closed for three days as a precautionary measure.
Retail shopkeepers too said that they have started facing the problems of stocks being piled up.
“The average demand from my shop during this time of the year is around 100 kg chickens which was reduced to less than 60 kg yesterday (Thursday),” Imran Qureshi, a poultry shop owner in Lajpat Nagar. “I, therefore, did not place any order today,” he added.
The prices have not fallen yet but we won’t be able to control it for too long, he added. The current prices of Chicken is around Rs 220 per kg and mutton around Rs 440/kg.
Muhammad Farooq, a chicken and mutton seller at Lado Sarai said, “I didn’t purchase chicken today as I could not clear my old stocks. On an average I sell around 70kg chicken but yesterday, I could not sell more than 40 kg.”
“People have become skeptical for no reason. Even the restaurants have cut down on their order for chickens,” he added.
Traders say that if the bird flu scare remains in the city for even a couple of more days, the prices will see a steep fall.
Teams from the animal husbandry department visited the Ghazipur wholesale market on Wednesday and Thursday to collect samples. “The poultry here is being thoroughly checked before sale. Our doctors also examine the chickens before they come to the market. Samples that don’t meet the standards are sent back,” said Haji Salahuddin Qureshi, president of the poultry association at Ghazipur.
the prices of Chicken has started to decrease with Delhi’s Gazipur market slashing the price by Rs 6 on Friday.