Egg prices soar as bird flu and holiday demand combine
MANILA, Philippines — The chair of the Philippine Egg Board (PEB) said on Wednesday that the bird flu outbreak and the increased holiday demand are contributing to a worrying rise in egg prices in several areas.
Gregorio San Diego sounded the alarm in an interview on Sakto, noting that the effects of the pandemic have been uneven, with farm prices of eggs varying significantly from area to area.
“Sa Batangas, kahapon, yung medium nila—yung basihan namin yung medium ito kasi yung pinaka maraming size na pinoproduce ng manok—P6.20. Pero sa Bulacan at Pampanga, kung saan marami yung nagsara na farms dahil nga sa sakit at nalugi din yung iba, nasa P7 na, yun na ang presyo,” said San Diego.
(In Batangas yesterday, their medium—our basis is medium because this is the most commonly produced by chickens—was P6.20. But in Bulacan and Pampanga, where there were a lot of closed farms because of the bird flu and the resulting losses, the price is P7).
He explained that the rise had been steadily increasing for two weeks.
“Ito siguro sa kadahilanan na kokonti na lang ang production, pagkatapos, medyo tumaas yung demand dahil magpapasko na. Maraming mga produkto na ginagamitan ng itlog kamukha ng leche flan, cake, yung mga yan. Kaya medyo tumaas yung presyo, pero sa monitor namin, yung sa farm, hindi naman kasing laki ng taas sa retail,” explained San Diego.
(This may be because production is low, while demand increased because of the holiday season. Many food products use eggs, such as leche flan, cake, and things like that. But based on our monitoring, the increases in farm prices were not as high as those at the retail level).
San Diego drew attention to a worrisome problem: the ever-climbing cost of bird feeds has become a financial burden on regional poultry farmers, an additional element contributing to the price surge.
“Ang problema pa 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 karamihan sa tumigil ay yung mga small at medium na producers,” said San Diego.
(The problem is that the Department of Agriculture did not regulate the entry of new players. Several new players went into the egg business in the last quarter of last year, when small and medium farmers started incurring losses, forcing them to stop producing.”