Coronavirus rumours hit sales of egg, chicken

BS Yadav, managing director of Godrej Agrovet, a compound animal feed company, told reporters on Thursday that the coronavirus rumour has led to a 50% drop in consumption to 35-40 million birds a week, while prices have dropped by 70%.

NEW DELHI | KOCHI: Top poultry companies in the country said sales of chicken and eggs have halved over the last few weeks, driven down largely by rumours that linked them to the coronavirus infection.

BS Yadav, managing director of Godrej Agrovet, a compound animal feed company, told reporters on Thursday that the rumour has led to a 50% drop in consumption to 35-40 million birds a week, while prices have dropped by 70%.

According to Yadav, the company’s poultry arm, Godrej Tyson Foods, too, has taken a hit—earning from its chicken business has fallen by 10-11% during the period. Godrej Tyson Foods is a joint venture between Godrej Agrovet and Tyson Foods-USA. It sells 600,000 fresh and frozen chicken every week.


“We see a short-term challenge due to the coronavirus scare which has led to a drop in consumption of chicken in the country,” Nadir Godrej, chairman of Godrej Agrovet, said, referring to Godrej Tyson Foods.

According to Yadav, the company has seen a 30-40% drop in sales in its branded chicken business. “In the last four-five weeks, we have seen 10-11% loss on earning in our chicken business. It’s not only companies, but farmers too who are making losses for the past 3-4 weeks, with a surplus building up,” he said.
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