Bird flu, higher feed prices blamed for egg price hike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2022 08:49 AM

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Why are egg prices rising before the holiday season? 

Gregorio San Diego, Philippine Egg Board Association chairman, said a confluence of factors led to the recent rise in egg prices: bird flu, low production and an increase in feed prices.

"Kakaunti na ang production at medyo tumaas ang demand dahil maraming produkto ang ginagamitan ng itlog tulad ng leche flan, cake kaya tumaas ang presyo," he said in a TeleRadyo interview.

San Diego said many poultry traders shifted to eggs after demand decreased due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Nung nalugi ang mga nasa broilers noong isang taon, lumipat sila sa layer. Recently yung mga may puhunan pa na nalugi sa baboy dahil sa [African swine fever], lumipat din sa layer. Sabi nila dito na tayo kasi walang kalaban na imported," he explained.

"Ang problema naman hindi ni-regulate ng Department of Agriculture. Dumami nang dumami yung pumasok sa negosyo ng itlog kaya noong last quarter ng last year, nag-umpisa nang malugi yung mga farmers at ang mga karamihan sa tumigil ay yung mga small at medium na producers. Yung iba naman na malaki tinamaan ng bird flu."

He said higher importation of meat products and even vegetables has also forced poultry and pork producers to shift to egg production "because we can't compete with importers." 

Higher cost of production is also to blame for the higher egg prices. San Diego said at present, an egg producer must spend P4.41 on feed to produce a single egg, without counting labor costs. 

"Problema kasi cost of production mas mataas dahil sa cost of feeds. Nagtaas ng 50 pesos per bag of feed," he said. 

"Even if we raise farmgate prices, hindi pa rin kami kumikita dahil sa taas ng feed. Pinakamurang source ng protein ang itlog pero dahil sa hirap ng buhay, tumumal kami mula ng tumaas ang presyo." 

Farmgate prices of medium-sized eggs are currently set at P6.20 in Batangas and P7 in Pampanga and Bulacan. 

The Department of Agriculture earlier said it is normal for egg supply to go down during the cold season.

In the interview, the Egg Board Association chairman urged the government to subsidize egg producers due to lower demand as the public cuts on food spending. 

"Napakatumal. Wala ng pera ang mga tao...Nagbabawas na sa pagkain ang mga tao kasi hindi na sapat ang pera nila, inuuna siyempre nila ang bayad sa bahay, kuryente, tubig, sa pamasahe," he said.