Temporal analysis of relative prices of poultry eggs and meat vis-a-vis other agricultural commodities
SANDEEP SARAN, RAJVIR SINGH AND P.V.K. SASIDHAR
Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar - 243122
Movements in eggs and poultry meat prices vis-à-vis other agricultural commodities and commodity groups were studied on the basis of their relative prices calculated for the period 1950-51 to 2002-03. The relative prices of eggs and meat with respect to various commodities were worked out on the basis of Wholesale Price Indices (WPI) for these commodities. The WPI for various commodities during 1950-51 to 1988-89 had 1970-71 as base year (=100), however, for the period 1994-94 to 2002-03, the 1993-94 prices were used as base year. A ratio of less than one for a particular period indicated that the WPI for egg/meat increased more sharply as compared to the commodity/commodity group under reference over a fixed base year during that period and vice-versa. In order to analyze movement in egg and poultry meat prices as compared to those of other commodities, simple averages of the relative prices for eggs and meat were worked out for split periods spanning through 1950-51 to 1959-60, 1960-61 to 1969-70, 1970-71 to 1979-80, 1980-81 to 1988-89 and 1994-95 to 2002-2003.
It was observed that during the period 1950-51 to 1969-70, the ratio of WPI for various commodity groups such as cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, milk group, egg-meat-fish, food articles and all commodities together; as also for various important poultry feed ingredients such as jowar, rice and oilcakes and also for some of the important sources of protein such as mutton, masur and arhar; to WPI of eggs remained favorable to eggs as the average relative egg prices were less than unity. This was the period when egg production in India was still in nascent stage and the prices of eggs increased more sharply as compared to prices of various other commodities (over a fixed base of 1970-71). The pattern was reversed there after as a result of steep rise in prices of most of these commodities on one hand, coupled with increased production of eggs leading to a dampening affect on egg prices. During recent years (1993-94 to 2002-2003) also, eggs as also poultry meat suffered from similar malady since prices of other commodity groups out performed egg and poultry meat prices. Thus, based on the study it is concluded that, egg and poultry meat prices have registered lowest growth rates compared to other commodities.