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Meat prices inching up in India
Our Bureau
Date of posting: 21-02-08
      Prices of lamb and chicken, the staple meat for most Indians, are slowly inching upwards on the back of demand coming from those converting from a largely vegetarian diet to an increasing portion of non-vegetarian food. Price of fish, which is a near-staple diet in the coastal regions, is up 2 times from their 2006 level.

      Lamb prices in most Indian cities which were trading at Rs. 170 per kilo in December are now up to Rs. 200 a kilo, an 18% rise while that of chicken are around Rs.100 a kilo. Despite a scare of bird flu in some states such as West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, the price of chicken has not shown a substantial downward trend.

      Meat traders in Delhi speaking to FoodIndustryIndia.com said that demand from the hotel industry and end consumers had doubled in the past six months leading to a shortage of lamb. “Our average sales which used to be 200 kilos a day last year, now it is 280- 300 kilos a day. Often times, we are unable to meet demand for last minute buys by hotels and restaurants”, said the owner of a prominent meat store in Delhi’s Khan market.

      India’s rapidly expanding economy and the shift towards protein-rich food is held responsible for the rise in meat consumption, and in turn a rise in the global price of corn as this is diverted to feed cattle and lamb for milk and meat respectively.

      Fish prices shot up after the Tsunami in Asia two years ago and have not shown any signs of a downward trend since then. Premium quality fish such as seer is selling at Rs. 150 - 200 a kilo, up from Rs. 75 in the pre-Tsunami days.

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