Chicken, egg prices up as supply runs short in Chandigarh
Chicken and egg prices are up in the city with the advent of the festive season and the winter even as supplies being affected after the lockdown due to Covid-19.
Broilers, which were priced at ₹180 to ₹190 per kg, are now selling for ₹240 per kg; and the cost of an egg has gone up from ₹5 to ₹7 in the past few weeks.
“Demand for poultry items has started picking up with winter almost here, a time when people consume more eggs to boost their immunity. However, not enough supply is coming in and prices in the wholesale market are going up. We have no option but to increase our prices,” says Tejinder Singh Chawla, proprietor of the Sector 46 Chawla’s Chicken outlet.
Demand, however, has still not gone up to pre-Covid levels. The lockdown period saw very low sales with broiler prices down to ₹120 per kg in March.
Interestingly, fish and mutton prices are not fluctuating much. “Fish and mutton are associated with the wedding season that normally picks up around this time. However, demand is low this year. More people prefer chicken as it can be cooked easily at home,” Chawla explained.
Singhara fish is selling for ₹650 per kg and mutton for ₹600 per kg.
Bird feed expensive too
Wholesalers have also been affected by the rising prices. Ashok Kumar, a wholesaler at the Sector 21 Meat Market, says, “It has become more expensive to rear chickens. Prices of bird feed are going up too.”
As the rising prices are putting off customers, shopkeepers are being forced to reduce their own margins to make sure their businesses don’t suffer.
Most of the poultry products come to the city from Barwala in Haryana. “There is a supply shortage because during the lockdown many small time wholesalers, most of them suppliers of chicken to Chandigarh, shut shop. They had no funds during the lockdown,” says Harish Mittal, CEO of SS Poultry Farm in Barwala.
“Many suppliers had to destroy the poultry (during the lockdown) as they didn’t have enough money to buy feed. This shortage is likely to continue during the winter,” Mittal added