Skyrocketing vegetable prices behind sudden hike, say vendors.
New Delhi: Skyrocketing vegetable prices have pushed up the retail cost of eggs, the poor man’s protein source, by Rs 2 a piece in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) over the last few days.
Many vendors said that eggs, which were selling at Rs 5 a piece till a month ago, are being sold for Rs 7 in Delhi-NCR. The cost of one box containing 30 eggs has increased from Rs 150 to Rs 180, while the cost of a dozen eggs has gone up from Rs 55 to Rs 82 in the past few days.
The prices are expected to continue to remain high till February next year. Interestingly, the cost escalation has been attributed by the vendors to the soaring prices of onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables besides a heightened demand during the winter season. Vendors claimed that due to vegetables becoming expensive, people tend to eat more eggs. Eggs come to Delhi mainly from Punjab and Haryana. However, no significant increase has been witnessed in the prices of broiler in the NCR even though supply has been increased to meet the escalating demand, sources in the Ghazipur wholesale broiler market said.
According to the ministry of agriculture, egg availability is 67 eggs per person per year in India while as per National Nutrition Institute this should be about 180 eggs per person for the same period.
Manoj Sharma, who owns poultry farms in Karnal and Panipat in Haryana and supplies eggs to Delhi and NCR area, said that the rise in vegetable prices has contributed to the increase in the prices of eggs since in many cities the main vegetables are costlier than a dozen eggs. “The poor, who cannot afford vegetables which are available at exorbitant rates in retail, are preferring eggs in their diet,” Mr Sharma said, explaining the reason behind the increased demand for the item. According to Poultry Federation of India (PFI), egg prices will remain high till February, 2018, as consumers are earmarking a larger portion of their stretched food budgets for eggs.
“Eggs are in short supply today due to lower production. The supply deficit is likely to continue for a few more months,” a senior PFI officer told this newspaper.