Chicken prices across India are skyrocketing due to a decrease in chick production caused by high summer temperatures. The retail cost of chicken now averages between ₹280-320 per kg, depending on the region.
What Happened? Per a report by The Hindu businessline report, this annual price increase is notably steep this year. For instance, in Hyderabad, chicken retails for ₹310-320, while in Bengaluru, dressed chicken exceeds ₹200 per kg. Chennai reports live chicken at ₹130 a kg and country chicken at ₹360 a kg, whereas Kerala’s live chicken prices reach ₹167 with meat being 40% higher.
Errabelli Pradeep Rao, a poultry industry leader, explains that during summer, many farmers avoid expanding production to prevent chick deaths due to heatwaves. Suresh Chitturi, CMD of Srinivasa Hatcheries, echoes this, stating that farm gate prices have hit an all-time high of ₹168 a kg due to a production drop of about 15%. He attributes this decline to farmers intentionally reducing production to prevent high mortality rates in harsh temperatures.
Several factors contribute to this price surge, including increased summer demand for animal protein, a 45-day fishing ban in Kerala, and the high cost of mutton.
The rising chicken price also puts pressure on Kerala’s hotel and restaurant owners who now have to spend an additional ₹2,000-3,000 to procure poultry meat. However, they’ve decided against increasing chicken dish prices to keep their businesses viable during a critical period.
Experts predict that prices will start to decrease next week as market signals suggest improved conditions in nearby production centres. Kerala, which consumes around one crore broiler chicken per week, heavily relies on neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh to meet demand as the state only produces 40-45% of its consumption.
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