Poultry producers cash in on beef slaughter ban as demand for chicken rises

Demand rose due to cattle restrictions, especially in northern states where Muslims are a minority

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India’s poultry producers are posting record profits as feed costs have dropped to a five-year low and on rising chicken demand after cattle slaughtering restrictions were enacted in the majority Hindu country.

Poultry company profits should continue to rise as raw material costs are set to remain depressed and demand rises due to the political fight over cattle slaughtering in India, home to the world’s biggest population of Hindus, who hold cows to be sacred, plays out in the courts.|economy news

On May 31, the Madras High Court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu overturned a government ban on cattle trading for slaughter, an industry dominated by Muslims, but the case is set to go before the Supreme Court.

The cattle restrictions have been good for poultry producers as average broiler chicken prices in Mumbai have jumped 47 per cent so far in 2017 to 100 rupees ($1.55) a kg, while corn and soymeal prices, the main chicken feed ingredients, have fallen 7 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

“For the first time, broiler prices sustained above 100 rupees (per kg) for a fortnight,” said Uddhav Ahire, the chairman of leading poultry firm Anand Agro Group based in the western city of Pune. “The average margin of integrated poultry firms was more than 30 rupees.”

Usually soymeal and corn rise during the summer as supplies drop, but this year bumper harvests and sluggish exports have kept prices in check, Ahire said.

Feed typically makes up two-thirds of poultry production costs. Back-to-back droughts that crimped grain output in India in 2014 and 2015 pressured the poultry farmers but that has changed.|economy policy

Shares of Venky’s Ltd, India’s biggest poultry producer, shot to a record high on Thursday after the company reported net profit more than doubled during the quarter that ended in March and full-year profit was a record Rs 125 crore.

Poultry profits may be even higher in the June quarter on the rising average chicken prices, said Prasanna Pedgaonkar, general manager at Venky’s, which is also the owner of Blackburn Rovers Football Club in Britain.

 

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