THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Egg price has scaled a new high of Rs 6 a piece this October. Except for a few days in 2019, the egg price has never risen to this level in recent years, according to industry stakeholders. Retail egg prices are based on the rate fixed by the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) at the production hubs of Namakkal in Tamil Nadu and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The Kerala market is largely based on the Namakkal price which climbed to `5 in October while it hovered between `2 and `3 in August.
“Usually prices go up in November- December when eggs are in high demand due to the Christmas season. Again it will go up in June-July coinciding with the school reopening time. The current price rise is unusual and is attributed to the high demand in north Indian states,” says Kabeer A, general secretary of the Kerala Egg Merchants Welfare Association. Kabeer owns AK Egg Traders, a leading wholesaler in the south Kerala market.
The price is on an upward spiral at a time when the demand is witnessing about 30 pc drop due to the Covid-19 situation, Kabeer said, adding that it would increase further in the coming days. “It is the Namakkal price and not the demand in the domestic market that fixes the price in Kerala. The Namakkal rate is expected to go up as the demand in north Indian states is surging. Hence, we will be forced to pay more in the coming days,” he said.
Major egg consuming districts in Kerala are Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Malappuram. Around 30 lakh eggs are sold in Thiruvananthapuram a week. Sainulabudeen of MKS Eggs, a Thiruvananthapuram-based wholesaler said the current price rise has bucked the previous trend of an inverse relation with fish availability. “Fish supply is back to normal after the Covid-19-induced ban on fishing. Usually, egg prices would be low in the time of surplus fish in the market. But now it is a different trend,” he said.The price of locally produced eggs saw a slight increase in October and is in the Rs 7-Rs 8 range.