Kolkata: Chicken and potatoes have become costlier while mutton prices have turned softer, as the demand-supply dynamics have changed since the country loosened lockdown restrictions.
Chicken that had few takers in April due to rumours about the risk of coronavirus infection is in demand now as those concerns have turned out to be unfounded. The supply of mutton, which was hit during the lockdown, has improved, while potato is in greater demand in the main producing states of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal following the return of lakhs of migrant labourers.In Punjab and Telangana, chicken prices have risen as much as seven times at the retail level, to more than Rs 210 per kg from around Rs 30 a fortnight ago. In West Bengal, a major consumer, prices have increased 75%. Mutton, meanwhile, has become cheaper by 28% across the country.
“The poultry sector of the country has been severely hit due to the Covid-19 outbreak with myths and misinformation reducing the consumption of chicken and leading to extremely low sales,” Telangana Poultry Association president Ranjith Reddy told ET. “This had forced the farmers to cull the chicks leading to a fall in supply and pushing up prices.”
Aman Singla, the owner of Patiala Poultry Farm in Punjab, said during the lockdown farmers were selling chicken at as low as Rs 4-5 per kg, while at the retail level, prices were Rs 30-50. “Now the wholesale price has climbed to Rs 100 per kg and the retail price is hovering between Rs 210 and Rs 230.”
In West Bengal, farmers were selling chicken at Rs 10 per kg during the lockdown though the price at the retail level was at Rs160. Now, it is being sold at Rs 260-300 per kg in Kolkata’s ..