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Egg rolls off food table as prices soar

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Hyderabad: Egg is said to be the common man’s protein source. As the price of eggs is on the rise, the most important nutrient is vanishing from the table of the households. Take a look at the spurt in egg prices in the last fortnight: On May 1, a basket of 100 eggs was priced at Rs 296. That means, each egg was priced at Rs 2.96. Now, in less than two weeks time, the price of 100 eggs shot up to Rs 440 on Sunday. The wholesale price had seen an increase of 67.27 per cent.

The highest rise in just a fortnight has become a nightmare for ordinary consumers. No such growth had ever been registered in wages, said Satya Narayana, a retired professor of Economics. D Sudhakar, executive committee member of National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), said that severe heat wave, rising prices of poultry feed, drying water resources and increase in transport costs have taken a toll on the common man’s eating habits.

As the heat wave in Telangana State in April saw the wilting of poultry, the supply line has been hit. According to Poultry Farmers Association, at least 30 lakh birds were killed in the heat wave. And another 60 to 70 lakh birds were affected, rendering the poultry farmers in a state of shambles. He said that normally during the month of May, egg prices maintain an uptrend because of supply constraints and feed issues to poultry. “But this time, it has been a little encouraging for the farmer.

2337NECC

From the consumer point of view, it may be an issue to rue about, if you actually ask me, the equilibrium price should be at Rs 6 to make it just remunerative for the farmers,” he said. Satya Narayana analysed the rising prices of food stuffs and said that consumer prices in India went up by 5.39 per cent year-on-year in April 2016, accelerating from a 4.83 per cent rise in the previous month and higher than market expectations of five per cent. Food inflation also reached a three-month high.

Year-on-year, cost of food and beverages rose by 6.21 per cent (5.27 per cent in March), provisional estimates showed. The food index alone accelerated to 6.32 per cent compared to 5.21 per cent in the previous month. The biggest rise came from pulses (up 34.13 per cent from 34.15 per cent in the previous month), followed by sugar (11.18 per cent from 3.92 per cent), spices (11.18 per cent from 9.58 per cent) and meat and fish (8.07 per cent from 7.74 per cent in the previous month).

Prices of vegetables rose by 4.82 per cent (0.54 per cent in the previous month) and fruits went up by 1.66 per cent, rebounding from a 1.1 per cent decline. Cost of clothing and footwear went up by 5.56 per cent year-on-year (5.27 per cent in March); fuel and light rose by 3.03 per cent (3.38 per cent); and housing prices increased by 5.37 per cent (5.31 per cent). The corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas were 6.09 per cent and 4.68 per cent (5.79 per cent and 3.98 per cent, respectively, in March). A year ago, the inflation rate was lower at 4.87 per cent.

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