Egg price falls in wholesale markets after decision to import

Eggs in the wholesale market in Lalbazar of Sylhet on 22 August, 2023.
Anis Mahmud

The price of eggs has started falling following the government’s decision to import it. The prices fell by 15 to 20 taka for every 100 eggs in different wholesale markets in the capital on Tuesday.

However, the impact of the fall in the egg price in the wholesale market is yet to be reflected in retail markets. Although eggs are being sold at a rate of Tk 144 per dozen in some shops, the price remains more or less Tk 150 in most of the markets.

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Traders in the capital’s Moghbazar and Malibagh market on Tuesday said that they bought brown eggs at a rate of Tk 1,125 to Tk 1,130 per 100 eggs from wholesale markets. The price was between Tk 1,140 and Tk 1,145 on Monday.

The price of white eggs is fluctuating around Tk 1,105 per 100 pieces. Therefore, the sellers have lowered the price of white eggs a little. White eggs are being sold at a rate of Tk 144 to Tk 145 per dozen.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Tanvir Hasan, an egg retailer in the capital’s Malibagh market said, “The price of eggs dwindled by around Tk 15 in the wholesale market. We too are trying to sell eggs at the price fixed by the government. However, we don’t make much profit from selling per piece of egg at Tk 12.”

Egg seller Md Samsuddin of Mogbazar reiterated Tanvir Hasan. He told Prothom Alo, “If the price falls further, we will be able to make some profit from selling eggs at a rate of Tk 12 per piece. But we don’t make any profit from selling eggs at Tk 12 per piece now.”

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Although the retailers claimed that they were selling four eggs at a rate of Tk 48, it was actually being sold at Tk 50.

The price of eggs has been rising over the last two years. It even rose to Tk 60 for every four eggs last year. According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), a government agency, the price of four eggs was Tk 28 to Tk 30 in January 2021.

However, Egg Traders Association president Mohammad Amanat Ullah claimed that the price of eggs is stable now saying, “The chances of further rise in the price of eggs are low. The market is stable now. The price is not fluctuating much either. I am not seeing any situation that could lead to a big crisis.”

Meanwhile, businesses which got government permission will import eggs mainly from India. At the same time, efforts are on to import eggs from Indonesia and Azerbaijan as well.

The import agencies claim that they will be able to sell eggs at a price of less than Tk 10 per piece in the local markets after purchasing eggs from India. It will take around a week to import eggs from India.

Egg import is prohibited in Bangladesh. If necessary, the Ministry of Commerce may permit the import with the consent of the livestock ministry. According to the customs tariff list for 2023-24 fiscal, there are 25 per cent import duty, 5 per cent advance income tax and 3 per cent regulatory duty on eggs. As such, the total duty-tax burden will be 33 per cent. Therefore, the egg importers will have to pay Tk 33 as duty tax for importing eggs worth Tk 100.

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Some six import agencies recently made an appeal to the commerce ministry seeking permission to import 510 million eggs in the face of egg crisis in the market and resultant rise in its price. But they were not given permission that time.

However, the commerce ministry recently permitted four agencies to import 40 million eggs. Apart from that, the government also fixed the price of eggs at Tk 12 per piece.