Shares of Venky's, the poultry processing company, declined over 9 per cent on Wednesday amid sharp decline in poultry sales in the wake of fast spreading deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19).
At 01:49 pm, the stock was trading around 7 per cent lower at Rs 1,133 apiece on the BSE. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading 635 points or 1.64 per cent lower at 37,989 levels.
Rumours on social media about the spread of coronavirus through birds have beaten down poultry prices, which have declined 10 per cent in the past two days owing to a sudden plunge in its demand in the country. Broiler chicken per kg is now being sold to consumers at Rs 65 in Pune and Rs 72 in Delhi as against Rs 73 and Rs 80 a kg, respectively, last week. Similarly, egg prices have declined and are trading at Rs 3.75 per piece, according to this report.
“Poultry demand is very week due to a lean season. Normally, the six weeks between February 1 and March 15, demand for poultry products remains seasonally down due primarily to a slowdown in consumption during school examination period. Rumours of coronavirus worsened poultry demand. We hope, poultry prices to decline further till demand resumes possibly by March-end,” said K G Anand, general manager, Venkatashwara Hatcheries, the producer of Venky’s brand raw and ready-to-eat chicken products, the report added.
Between February 20 and March 3, shares of Venky's have underperformed the market by plunging around 18 per cent against nearly 6.5 per cent fall in the benchmark Nifty50 index.