CHENNAI:It’s bad news for fish and meat lovers. The retail price of expensive varieties of fish like Seer Fish (vanjaram) has gone up by almost Rs 150 per kg, with the present price fluctuating between Rs 550 and Rs 600 per kg. Pomfret (vaavalmeen) now costs Rs 450, an increase of Rs 175 from the previous month. The retail prices of chicken (with skin) too have gone up by almost Rs 30 in less than two weeks. In fact, the prices of all varieties of chicken, say traders, is on a steady rise, with an increase of Rs 10 almost every other day.
“This sudden increase in price has altered my consumption pattern. My father now gets half a kg of chicken instead of one kg. I’d rather go for a cheaper protein substitute like soya chunks over chicken,” said Rohit Samuel Rajkumar, a marketing professional.
Dilip Kumar, a meat lover, said. “The price rise has hardly to do with me consuming chicken or fish. It’s only in the case of expensive varieties of fish, where the price comes into play. I normally reduce consumption of non-vegetarian food during summer,” he said. Nidhi Poonja, does not mind paying more, but what she looks for is whether the fish is fresh. “In summer, meat gets spoilt easily. Even fish for that matter, needs to be fresh when purchased and that can be made out by looking at the gill. When it comes to price, I might think of buying a little less, since price does play a role,” she said.
A few chicken retailers in the city said that the demand had been high over the past few days, especially around Easter, leading to an increase in prices. “There are two ways of looking at this scenario. One is that the supply has been poor due to summer. Next, the number of people who bought chicken during Easter increased. This is precisely why the rates have gone up. But this is a general trend observed every year,” said Kather Bashir of Adyar Sadic Proteins.
S Kumar, who runs the Yoga Priya Chicken Centre at Adyar said. “Customers question us over the price rise, but we are quite helpless. There can possibly be a decrease in prices in the near future since the number people preferring chicken during summer would go down,” he said.
Fish traders on the other hand told City Express that the rise was due to lesser boats venturing out into the sea to catch fish.
A dealer at Chintadripet Fish Market even told this reporter that newspapers had been wrongly printing the prices, leading to customers arguing with them citing the reports and demanding fish at lesser prices. “The prices have gone up steeply due to poor supply,” she said.
A Mahendran of the South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association said that in place of 400 boats, hardly 200 boats ventured into the sea to catch fishes on any given occasion.
“This is due to summer and excessive heat,” he said and added that this was the main reason for the increase in prices.
Prices of Fish and Chicken
Seer fish (Vanjaram) - Rs 550 to 600 (Increase by Rs 150-200 from last month)
Eral (Prawn) - Rs 400 (Increased by Rs 80 from the previous month)
Sankara (Red snapper) - Rs 350 (Increased of Rs 150 from last month)
Vavaal (Pomfret) - Rs 450
(Increased by Rs 175 from previous month)
Chicken with skin - Rs 160 (increased by Rs 30)
Without skin - Rs 190
Chicken live - Rs 128
Chicken boneless - Rs 400
Chicken liver and gizzard - Rs 120
Chicken leg and breast with skin - Rs 180
Chicken leg and breast without skin - Rs 210