Venky’s India Shares Fall On Bird Flu Worries

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Shares of poultry breeder Venky’s India Ltd. fell to the two-month low on reports of fresh concerns over bird flu.

Thousands of birds have died due to different variants of bird flu in Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, a Hindustan Times report said. Times of India, quoting K Raju, Kerala’s Minister for forest, animal husbandry and dairy development, reported that as many as 12,000 ducks have died and 40,000 birds will be culled in the southern state.

The Department of Animal Husbandry, however, has assured that no human case of avian influenza has been reported so far. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has deployed multi-disciplinary teams to avian influenza affected Alappuzha and Kottayam Districts in Kerala and Panchkula district in Haryana.

A Reuters report on Jan. 6, too, said France is said to cull around 6 lakh poultry birds as it tries to contain the avian influenza virus.

“The profitability of the entire value chain of poultry companies, poultry feed companies and farmers is likely to be impacted in Q4 FY21 and H1 FY22,” ICICI Securities analyst Aniruddha Joshi said in a note. The consumption of poultry products such as chicken and eggs is expected to decline and the demand for poultry feed will face impact, Joshi said.

Joshi also expects the concerns over the spread of bird flu to hurt poultry business across India over the next two-three quarters.

Poultry sales, according to Bloomberg, accounted for about half of Venky’s India revenue in FY20.

Shares of Venky’s India fell as much as 4.1% to Rs 1,494 apiece — the lowest since Nov. 4, 2020. The stock has declined as much as 15% in the last four trading sessions. Still, the average of Bloomberg consensus 12-month target price implies an upside of 31.3%.

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