• Thursday, December 01, 2022

ASIA

Why Qatar is buying more eggs from India during FIFA World Cup 2022

Representational Image (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

India is not a part of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar but yet it is making a difference at the event in some way. The host nation has turned to India to meet its requirement for eggs and the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which is a hub for the production of eggs, has catered to the West Asian nation’s needs.

It has been reported that Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal district has emerged as a major supplier of the food item to Qatar where 32 teams are competing for football’s highest crown.

Demand for eggs from Qatar has risen by far, thanks to the presence of players of several teams and more than a million fans who have arrived in the country for the marquee tournament. Consequently, eggs supplied from Namakkal have gone up from less than a crore (10 million) a month to more than 2.5 crore (25 million).

“Normally, we export less than 10 million eggs [one crore] monthly to Qatar. But in the last two months, the demand has increased to between 20 to 25 million [two to 2.5 crore] eggs monthly because of the World Cup,” India’s Hindustan Times newspaper quoted K Singaraj, Tamil Nadu Poultry Farmers’ Association president, as saying.

For the Gulf nations, Ukraine and Turkey are the main suppliers of eggs but after the outbreak of war, the supply from Ukraine has taken a hit. Turkey, on the other hand, has increased the prices of eggs since the production cost has soared.

India had been a minor player till now but has chipped in. Singaraj said one carton, consisting of 360 eggs, is exported from India between $29 and $30 (anywhere between Rs 2,370 to Rs 2,451). Turkey, on the other hand, sells a box for $36 (Rs 2,942).

“So buying Namakkal eggs leads to a saving of six dollars (Rs 490 per box). As the FIFA World Cup started in Qatar, the demand for eggs also increased there,” he added.

Tamil Nadu has around 1,100 poultry farms of which 700 are located in and around Namakkal.

India overall produces around 30 crore (300 million) of eggs a day of which 4.5 crore (45 million) are from Namakkal. They are shipped to Qatar from Thoothukudi or Chennai ports in the state.

Eggs from Namakkal are not just exported to Qatar but also other West Asian nations such as Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

However, the rise in exports of eggs have also impacted the Indian market as domestic prices have gone up (retail prices of eggs range from Rs 5.50 apiece to Rs 7 apiece).

“The production cost has increased from Rs 4.50 per egg to Rs 4.75. Unless they get a price of at least Rs 5 throughout the year, it is not viable for the farmers,’’ K G Anand, head of Venkateshwara Hatcheries in Andhra Pradesh, another major egg-producing state in India, told Moneycontrol.

Prices of eggs have also gone up in Kerala.

“From Rs 4.50 an egg a month ago, it has reached Rs 5.70 now. This is likely to persist for some weeks as it is not easy to ramp up production at short notice,” CJ George, president, Kerala Egg Dealers Association, was quoted as saying.

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