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Buffalo milk prices rising in Mumbai from Mar 1, will have cascading effect

Buffalo milk wholesale prices in Mumbai will shoot up by Rs 5/litre from midnight on Tuesday; could trigger a vital cascading effect on entire food industry that depends on it as its raw material

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IANS Mumbai
The buffalo milk wholesale prices in Mumbai will shoot up by Rs 5/litre from midnight on Tuesday and could trigger a significant cascading effect on the entire food industry that depends on it as its raw material, milk industry players say.
Portending a hard hit, the Mumbai Milk Producers Association (MMPA) last Friday announced the steep hike in wholesale price of buffalo milk.
The bulk milk prices will go up from Rs 80/litre to Rs 85/litre and will remain in force till August 31, MMPA Executive Committee Member C.K. Singh said.
This will be followed by a similar increase in the retail market by the 3,000-plus retailers in Mumbai for the creamy fresh buffalo milk, which would now sell at around Rs 90 per litre - up from the current Rs 85 per litre - from March 1.
These sharp hikes shall be borne by the ordinary consumers not only in the form of dearer plain milk, but also other milk products that are consumed by households daily.
"This would impact, albeit marginally, the rates of a cup of tea-coffee-ukala-milkshakes, etc, served by restaurants, at the ordinary pavement vendors, or in small eateries," said MMPA Treasurer Abdul Jabbar Chhawaniwala.
The duo said that there are many other milk products like khoya, paneer, sweetmeats like pedha, barfi, certain north Indian or Bengali sweet varieties which are milk-based which could witness a price hike now.
Prominent milkman in north Mumbai, Mahesh Tiwari rued that the price hike has come on the eve of certain festivals and also the big fat weddings season, which would be hit by the whole-sale milk price hike from Wednesday.
"The demand for milk and milk products goes up at least 30-35 per cent during festivals and even higher for weddings, marriages and other social events, and the new rates would be applicable," he said.
There's a string of festivals like Holi, Gudi Padva, Ram Navami, Mahavir Jayanti, Easter after Good Friday, Ramzan Eid, and others in the next couple of months where the celebration budgets would have to be expanded, says Singh.
The hike has been necessitated to offset the increased prices of milch animals as well as their food items like dana, tuvar-chuni, chana-chuni, makai-chuni, udad-chuni, green grass, rice grass, hay, which have seen steep price rises by 15-25 per cent in the past few months, Singh said.
"Inflation has become unbearable, many of the items that make buffalo feed are almost wasted, but we have to buy them at higher rates from the market. So the milk price hike was inevitable, though done reluctantly," rued MMPA General Secretary Kasim Kashmiri.
Singh avers that normally, any fluctuation in milk prices in Mumbai is usually followed by an increase in milk rates in the rest of the country, too.
On an average, Mumbai consumes over 50 lakh litres of buffalo milk daily, of which more than seven lakh is supplied by the MMPA through its chain of dairies and neighbourhood retailers, through their farms spread in and around the country's commercial capital.
This is the second major hike by MMPA after September 2022 when the buffalo wholesale milk prices was jacked up from Rs 75 per litre to Rs 80 per litre, making domestic budgets of poor and middle-class families go haywire.
Incidentally, in February 2023, all the major cow milk producers' associations in Maharashtra, along with other major branded producers, have hiked the prices of cow milk by at least Rs 2 per litre.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)
--IANS
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First Published: Feb 28 2023 | 8:25 PM IST

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