India’s Poultry Industry Affected Due to Fear of Coronavirus

26 June 2020
India Export Data

India’s poultry market has begun affecting by the Coronavirus pandemic, which has spread in more than 150 countries and taken thousands of lives globally. A massive culling exercise is being reported from major areas of the country as consumers keep off chicken products for fear of catching coronavirus. While the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have said there is no scientific evidence to prove the virus spreads through consumption of non-vegetarian food, this has had no impact on people.

According to Export Genius India export data, India has poultry market of $14 billion or INR 1 trillion. The industry has recorded a drop of 80% in sales amid rumours that the novel coronavirus can transmitted through consumption of chicken, the prices of which have fallen considerably as a result.

As per Harmonized System, following products under sub-headings are covered in poultry industry:

                    ·         Live Poultry <=85 Gram

                    ·         Other Live Poultry <= 185 Gram

                    ·         Live Poultry > 185 Gram

                    ·         Other Live Poultry > 185 Gram

                    ·         Edible Poultry Meat (Fresh)

                    ·         Edible Poultry Meat (Frozen)

                    ·         Other Poultry Meat Not Cut In Pieces

                    ·         Cuts & Offals Excluding Livers

                    ·         Eggs In Shell

                    ·         Other Eggs

                    ·         Egg Yolks Dried

                    ·         Other Egg Yolks

                    ·         Eggs Not In Shell (Dried/Cooked)

                    ·         Eggs Not In Shell (Frozen/Preserved)

The statistics collected from the website of the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) show that India exported 5,44,985.06 MT of poultry products to the world during 2018-19. Major export destinations of India’s poultry products are Oman, Maldives, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Let’s view and analyse statistics regarding impact of coronavirus on poultry industry…

In a statement issued by the Poultry Federation of India, poultry men were getting just INR 20 per bird in the market whereas the cost of production was INR 80.

People were avoiding consumption of fish, meat, egg, chicken, etc. Due to the fall in demand, wholesale price of chicken had dropped sharply by as much as 70%. As a result, chicken is now available at INR100-150 per kg as compared to INR 180-200 previously.

According to media reports, chicken in Noida, adjoining Delhi is selling at a rate of INR 50-60 per bird, which was selling at INR 150 per kg earlier. And chicken in Muzaffarpur in Bihar is being selling at INR 100 per kg, down by about 50%.

The government of India has also admitted that poultry industry is losing INR 1,500-2,000 crore daily.

With no substantiation, several messages circulating on messaging platforms, particularly on WhatsApp, stating that the coronavirus could be transmitted via chicken meat. There have been a number of outbreaks of various strains of bird flu since it emerged in Hong Kong in 1997, resulting in the culling of 1.5 million chickens, ducks and geese, but these strains are not linked to Covid-19.

India’s top poultry firms such as Venkys, Godrej Agrovet and Suguna Foods have reported up to a 50% drop in sales of chickens and eggs in recent months, while sales have dropped by as much as 80% in some areas. India is the world’s second-largest producer of eggs, with annual production touching 90 billion eggs.

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