Why did egg prices rise and fall?
The price of eggs increased immediately after the recent hike in fuel oil prices. The price of each egg went up to Tk 12 in the retail markets across the country. However, the price started to fall within a few days.
Farmers said the price of chicken feed and medicine has almost doubled, which eventually pushed up the production cost. In the face of losses, many are now reducing the number of chickens in their farms, creating a crisis in the supply chain.
The price of eggs is not directly connected to the fuel price hike. The farmers said administrative pressure and falling market demand forced them to lower the price.
Noting that the poultry industry is on the brink of destruction, they also said the intermediary companies will enjoy the sole authority in the coming days and people will have no choice but to buy eggs at the price fixed by the companies.
Farmers of Paba, Durgapur, Puthiya and Charghat upazilas in Rajshahi sell their eggs in the wholesale market at Moselmer Mor along the bypass road in the city. Moslemer Mor Dim Aarat Samiti, an association of egg traders, determines the price of eggs in accordance with other parts of the country.
The traders said when the supply of eggs decreases, they receive numerous calls from different parts of the country, including Dhaka, Satkhira, Kishoreganj, Chattogram and Khulna. The price rises during high demand and it has nothing to do with rising oil prices.
The farmers, who were counting losses for long, started making profit recently, but the current disorder snapped the gaining streak, they added.
Farman Ali, a chicken farmer of Parila village in Paba upazila, had a total of 70,000 chickens in his farm a few years ago. But he reduced the number to around 15,000.
Farman Ali said they had to sell each egg at Tk 3.10 in 2017. They protested the low price, destroying the eggs publicly, but it was not covered by the media properly. But a Tk 2 rise in price created a buzz in the country. Raid of mobile courts, pressure from the administration and anti-egg campaign in the social media- all started at a time.
He also claimed that he is now counting a loss of Tk 1.5 in each egg as the authorities fixed the egg prices at Tk 8.20 (white) and Tk 8.60 (brown).
Stating that many farmers are leaving the business, Farman Ali added, "Intermediary companies will come in the future. They will fix the price and people will be forced to buy at the fixed price.”
Sreepur of Gazipur is the country’s top egg producing zone. Farmers here said the price of poultry feed increased by 40 per cent in the past six to seven months, so did the medicine price. The industrialists are controlling the market through their syndicates.
Aminul Karim, a chicken farmer, told Prothom Alo that the fixed price of eggs will discourage the farmers. The price will come down if the chicken feed price is reduced.
He alleged that syndicates are destroying the industry.
President of Sreepur poultry farm owners association Abdul Matin said they can reduce the egg price by Tk 0.50 if the chicken feed price is lowered by Tk 1.
“We earn Tk 0.25 per egg through hard work and investment while the farmers in Dhaka earn Tk 2 to Tk 3 per egg,” he said.
Farmers in Tangail also came up with similar remarks and alleged that the traders are increasing chicken feed and medicine prices through syndicate in phases.
Bangladesh poultry industries association Tangail district branch general secretary AKM Abdul Awal said the whole poultry sector will face a threat if the price of chicken feed and medicine is not brought under control.