IFA Poultry Chairman Alo Mohan said egg prices in other European countries are increasing at farm level but despite exceptional demand, Irish prices are not moving in line this trend. A recent meeting of the EU Commission poultry forecasting Group revealed that new welfare regulations implemented since the start of the year are having an impact on egg prices across Europe. The EU forecast for consumption is a reduction in volume of 2.4%. Germany, France and Hungary are predicting an increase this year, but the big egg producers in Spain, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands are forecasting decreases.
Mr. Mohan said, “Ireland is fully compliant with the regulation and this has led to a severe shortage of eggs, creating a massive increase in egg prices at wholesale level, but not for producers.”
“Germany continues to import eggs despite an increase in egg production as supplies are short. According to the German delegate, prices have exploded over the last 2 weeks by up to 80% at producer level with the discounters blamed for not allowing an increase in prices at retail level. The Italian delegate also stressed that the prices for eggs are now very high, as the industry did not allow prices to rise when supplies started dropping back and this has led to a shortage.”
Mr. Mohan said “Other countries including Latvia, Portugal and Finland have seen egg prices increase by between 10 and 50%. Following a shaky start, the UK is now fully compliant with the ban on conventional cages and wholesale egg prices have increased by 40% due to the changeover.”
“UK producers are still under enormous pressure as currently the price being paid for free range eggs is approximately 97p/dozen and the cost of production is £1 making it almost impossible for producers to continue. Irish farmers are in a similar situation; the cost of feed increases over the last number of years has not been covered by egg price increases. The volume is down and retailers and packers must pass back an increase through the chain to guarantee supplies,” Mr. Mohan concluded.