Private milk brands in Tamil Nadu will now cost Rs 8-12 more than Aavin milk, as four dairy companies—Thirumala, Jersey, Heritage and Dodla—have increased their milk price by Rs 2-4 per litre.
The decision of the private milk companies may result in an increase in the price of tea, coffee, milk and other hot beverages in restaurants and retail shops in the coming days. The revised prices will come into effect on Friday. The combined market share of the four companies in retail sales of milk in TN is 40 to 45 per cent a day.
While a litre of the State-owned Aavin’s toned milk costs Rs 40, it will cost Rs 50 for Thirumala and Heritage (hiked from Rs 48), and Rs 48 for Jersey (hiked from Rs 46). While a liter of Aavin’s standardised milk costs Rs 44, it will be Rs 60 (hiked from Rs 58) for the three brands except Dodla.
For a liter of full cream milk, while Aavin costs Rs 48, it is increased from Rs 62 to Rs 66 for Thirumalai, and from Rs 64 to Rs 66 for Jersey, Dodla and Heritage.
“Already, the demand for Aavin milk went up across the State after its price was slashed by Rs 3 a litre in June. Now, the demand will shoot up further; but, Aavin’s market share in milk sale remains less than 20 per cent,” said S A Ponnusamy, state president, TN Milk Dealers Welfare Association. During the lockdown, the private dairies had reduced their procurement price by `10 to `15 per litre citing lack of demand, added Ponnusamy.
The per day milk demand of the State is 2.1 crore litres. While 20 to 25 lakh litre is consumed by dairy farmers, the Aavin procure about 38 to 39 lakh litres. About 40 to 45 lakh litres (mostly full cream milk) are supplied to hotels, tea shops, hospitals and other commercial establishments, and 35 to 40 lakh litres are sold through retail outlets.
About 50 to 55 lakh litres (mostly buffalo milk) are diverted for producing milk products such as ghee, milk powder, butter, sweets among other items. The circular released by the private companies has attributed the increasing expenses towards the maintenance of cattle and its feed and other operational reasons for their decision. The price of milk was last increased by private dairies between June and November 2021.
A Kumaran of Chennai Metropolitan Tea Shop Owners’ Association (CMTSOA) said, “The per day collection of tea shops is yet to reach 60 per cent of the pre-Covid level. We will increase the price only once normalcy is restored.”