DDC jacks up prices of premium milk

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu
DDC jacks up prices of premium milk

May 20, 2014-

Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) has jacked up milk prices for the second time in as many months. Full cream milk and cow’s milk have become dearer by Rs 2 and Rs 4 per litre respectively. There has been no change in the price of standard milk sold in blue packets.

Milk in green packets now costs Rs 35 and cow’s milk in yellow packets costs Rs 32. Prices are for a 500 ml packet. State-owned dairy giant DDC last hiked milk prices in mid-March. Likewise, DDC has ramped up yogurt prices by Rs 10 to Rs 70 per litre while paneer has become costlier by Rs 60 with the price reaching Rs 490 per kg.

Giridhar Bajracharya, deputy general manager of the corporation, said that they hiked milk prices due to the dry season when milk supply from farmers decreases.

“Increasing the milk price was necessary as we were not getting enough milk when demand rises to produce yogurt and ice cream in the summer,” he said. According to DDC, it requires 210,000 litres of milk daily, but shipments have been halved.  

The period May-July is the dry season for farmers as milk output decreases. Dairies also find it hard to collect adequate milk during this period. DDC has been collecting milk from 1,200 farmer cooperatives in the country.

DDC increased milk prices quietly this time, and consumers received a shock when they went to the market to do their morning shopping. Kalyani Silwal from Battisputali was stunned when her milk seller told her that she would have to pay another Rs 8 for her daily 4 packets of milk. “I had not heard about the price hike through any media outlet this time,” she said.

DDC justified its move saying that only premium category milk had become costlier and that the price of standard milk had not been changed as that would have made the general public suffer. “We won’t increase the price of standard milk as a large number of common people consume it,” Bajracharya said.

According to DDC, it sells 16,000 packets of cow milk, 30,000 packets of full cream milk and 200,000 packets of standard milk daily in the Kathmandu valley.  Regarding the price rise in other milk products, DDC said it had to hike yogurt prices as yogurt culture powder and other raw materials had become more expensive.

“We are importing Direct Vat Set yogurt culture from Denmark whose price has gone up, and prices of other necessary raw materials have also increased,” said Bajracharya. “Likewise, the inadequate supply of high fat milk forced us to increase the price of paneer,” he added.  

Private dairies did not follow DDC’s lead by ramping up prices as has been the tradition. According to Dairy Industries Nepal, private dairies had recently increased prices of ice cream by 10 percent and of yogurt and paneer by 9 percent.

Published: 21-05-2014 09:48

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