There has been over two-fold increase in the export of eggs from Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal to Qatar thanks to an increased demand because of the FIFA World Cup being held in the West Asian country even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in the egg prices globally.
About 700 of Tamil Nadu’s around 1,100 poultry farms are located in and around Namakkal. The district produces about 60 million eggs daily, which are also supplied to Kerala, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bengal.
“Normally, we export less than 10 million eggs monthly to Qatar. But in the last two months, the demand has increased to between 20 to 25 million eggs monthly because of the world cup,” said Tamil Nadu Poultry Farmers’ Association president K Singaraj.
He said they have benefitted and were getting get more orders as Turkey, the main egg supplier to the Gulf countries, has increased prices. “One carton [360 eggs] from Namakkal is being sold to Qatar for $29 whereas that from Turkey for $35.”
Singaraj added that egg exports to the Gulf countries have overall increased with Oman being their biggest market for them. “In November alone, we will export anywhere between 80 to 100 million eggs.”
The eggs, weighing between 48 to 52 grams each and with a shelf life of three months, are shipped from Namakkal to Qatar via Thoothukudi or Chennai ports.
“Quality wise, it is the same but there has an increase in export quantity due to the football World Cup there,” said Ponne Product Exports director S Sasti Kumar.
“Because exports are looking up and the surplus eggs are moving out of the market, it will increase the demand in the local market and poultry farmers will be able to make full value.”
Poultry farmers said they faced losses over the last two years when Covid-19 crippled exports. “Prices of raw materials increased in the last two years and several farms have closed,” said Tamil Nadu Egg Poultry Farmers’ Marketing Society president V Subramani. “Our production cost is high but eggs are still sold for ₹5 which is not enough.”