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On Monday, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, by an amendment, reduced custom duty on Masur dal to zero – the fifth notification the Central government has issued on pulses. However, the lack of similar action in the case of soybean, despite repeated demand from the poultry industry and the processor industry, has not gone down well with the stakeholders, especially when the commodity is trading at record high prices.
The average trade price of soybean, which has already been on the rise for some time now, crossed a historical figure of Rs 9,700/quintal (130.50 USD/100 kg) at Latur’s wholesale market. Prices at Indore’s market had crossed Rs 10,000/quintal (134.54 USD/100kg), another record. On the future tradings platform National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), soybean is trading at Rs 9,652/quintal (129.85 USD/100 kg) – rates never been seen before, according to industry sources.
For the poultry industry, the high price of soybean is threatening to ruin the profit the traders were hoping to make with lockdown restrictions easing out and demand for chicken and eggs by the hotel and restaurant industry heading towards a gradual return to normal.
Ex farm price, the price at which poultry farmers sell their market-ready 2 to 2.5-kg birds across the country, is now hovering around Rs 110-120/kg (Approximately 1.61 USD/kg). Retail prices in most cities are now in the range of Rs 270-280/kg (Approximately 3.76 USD/kg), while eggs are retailing at Rs 5.5-6.00/piece (Approximately 9 cents/piece).
However, the gains from higher prices of chicken and eggs are likely to be neutralized by the high feed prices, especially that of the DOC. At present, the cost of production of poultry birds has risen from Rs 70/kg to Rs 90/kg (0.94 to 1.21 USD/kg).
To tide over the crisis,
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