No relief in January as egg prices still high in Bengaluru

By Udbhavi Balakrishna

Wholesale prices of eggs in Bengaluru have stubbornly remained high in January, with the seasonal price drop remaining elusive.

High price of chicken feed is being cited as one of the reasons for the spike in rates that are being passed onto the consumer.

In January, wholesale prices averaged Rs 568.86 for a batch of 100 eggs, as against Rs 468.06 in January 2022, Rs 437.58 in January 2021 and Rs 437.06 in January 2020.

Egg prices usually peak during June-July and November-December (average price was 537.67 in November and Rs 549.84 in December). The prices start increasing before New Year’s but go down by Sankranti. But this January has been different. 

The prices, which hovered around Rs 560-565 in late December and early January, reached Rs 575 on January 9 and remained unchanged even after Sankranti. They fell to Rs 550 only on January 21, for the first time in over 10 days, but this is not the case everywhere.

Also read: J&K Govt Plans to Strengthen Poultry Sector; Boost Annual Output from Rs 709 crore to Rs 1,982

Sreejesh, the owner of a kirana store, said he had been buying eggs at Rs 6 apiece while the wholesale price remained at Rs 5.75. Price differences at the retailer level are not unusual because the supplier also factors in transportation costs, he pointed out.

Store owners and employees at supermarkets said supply had not been a concern either and had remained steady for the past couple of months. The higher wholesale costs have been transferred onto the customer, with retail prices rising to Rs 6.7-Rs 7 at some stores.

An employee at Families Supermarket, Kempapura, said egg prices usually spike around Christmas but come down after New Year’s. This has not happened yet this year. He said rising poultry feed prices and transportation costs might have contributed to the higher prices.

Satish Babu, of the National Egg Coordination Committee, agreed. “There has been an almost 40% increase in feed prices, increasing the input costs. Egg prices have increased accordingly,” he said. Despite these increases, poultry farmers have not been making any profits, he said. 

Transportation from outside Karnataka could also be contributing to the rise in prices, he said. “Nearly 75 lakh eggs are consumed daily in Bengaluru. Almost 40 lakh eggs are brought in from Tamil Nadu,” he added. 

This article has been republished from The Deccan Herald.