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Extreme Seasonal Jump in Egg Prices

by 5m Editor
15 August 2011, at 9:50am

CHINA - Egg prices have risen more than seven per cent since the beginning of July.

After pork prices, it is now egg prices that have seen a drastic increase, Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday (13 August), triggering market concerns over the declining purchasing power and persistent inflation problem in China.

Global Times reports that egg prices were 7.3 per cent higher that on 1 July, the highest level since 2008.

Geographically, all provinces and municipalities have witnessed egg price hikes, with the prices reaching above 10 yuan (CNY; US$1.56) per kilogram in majority of the areas. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Jilin Province and Chongqing Municipality saw the biggest increases of 12 to 15 per cent.

The prices of pork and beef also rose slightly over the weekend but much less than egg prices.

The prices of eggs have been rising since the second half of 2010, said Guo Huiyong, an agriculture analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Ltd.

"The normal ex-farm price should be about CNY8 per kilogram, bringing six per cent profit margin to poultry farmers," Mr Guo told Global Times.

Persistent rainfall since last year has led to reduced poultry farming and a drop in the egg supply, pushing the prices up, he said.

The increasing inventory demand for festival season and rising feed costs are other factors behind the egg price hike, he added, saying that the soaring prices of pork also partially led to increased consumption of eggs.

As mid- and late August is the traditional off-season for egg production, egg prices are expected to rise further in the next few days, according to Qian Minghuo, president of the Hangzhou Poultry Trade Industry Association.

The egg price hike has also fuelled market worries over inflation as egg prices play an important part, weighing more than grain prices in the consumer price index.

But Mr Guo dismissed such concerns. The supply is expected to increase and so the prices will drop in September or October, after the Mid-Autumn Festival, he told Global Times.