Malaysia’s eggs shortage sets Indian hatcheries on path for record exports

India is on track to export a record 50 million eggs this month, helped by sales to Malaysia, where there have been severe shortages as many small-scale farmers were compelled to reduce production due to skyrocketing feed prices brought on by the conflict in Ukraine.

The majority of India’s egg customers are Middle Eastern nations like Oman and Qatar, but over the past several months, Indian hatcheries have received sizable orders from unexpected sources as production plummeted in some of the leading suppliers in the world.

Malaysia, which used to export eggs to Singapore and other Asian nations, placed the largest such unforeseen order.

Mohamad Sabu, Malaysia’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, visited Namakkal, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where several top hatcheries are headquartered, earlier this month to guarantee egg supplies as prices surged to record highs.

According to Sasti Kumar, joint managing director of Namakkal-based Ponni Farms, one of India’s top egg exporters, “Malaysia is purchasing substantial amounts of eggs from India for the first time, and it seems that India’s egg exports to Malaysia will continue robust during the first half of 2023.”

According to Kumar, India sent 5 million eggs to Malaysia in December and would send 10 million and maybe 15 million in January and February, respectively.

In several nations around the world, the supply of eggs and chicken has been reduced due to the outbreak of highly virulent avian influenza, also known as bird flu. This has put pressure on already high food prices and led to trade restrictions from nations that import poultry.

Malaysia’s prices have decreased from the record highs observed in late December thanks to imports from India. The Malaysian ministry claimed in a statement earlier this week that the market gap has shrunk to just one million eggs in December from a deficit of 157 million in November.

Tan Chee Hee, head of the Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Association of Malaysia, predicted that the government’s enhanced subsidy will cause a short-term boost in egg production in Malaysia.

In the meantime, prices in India have rocketed to a record 565 rupees ($6.96) for 100 eggs, up by roughly a quarter from prices a year ago and escalating domestic worries about food price inflation.

According to Prasanna Pedgaonkar, general manager of poultry-focused Venky’s, exports are increasing amid strong local consumption over the winter (VENK.NS).

Meanwhile, according to Pedgaonkar, domestic supplies have decreased by about 10% as small-scale Indian farmers, like their Malaysian counterparts, have scaled back their operations after suffering losses over the previous two years as a result of the pandemic’s effects and the high price of feed.

According to C Panneerselvam, an exporter also headquartered in Namakkal who supplied one million eggs to Malaysia last month, India’s domestic prices could eventually make exporting eggs less feasible, in which case foreign customers would be forced to look elsewhere.

But for now, demand isn’t going away.

According to Kumar of Ponni Farms, Singapore and Sri Lanka may be the next nations to purchase from India in the near future.

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