Price of farm egg, a key protein source for commoners, shot up as high as Tk130 a dozen and accordingly each egg was selling at a record high of Tk11 from Sunday, augmenting woes of the limited-income people already battered by the galloping prices of all other essentials.
The spiralling trend in prices of poultry feed, decline in production as well as surge in transportation cost are the key reasons behind the surge in egg prices, said industry insiders.
Largely consumed red farm egg was retailed at Tk120-130 a dozen, white farm egg Tk 118-124 a dozen, branded big egg at Tk170-Tk 210, duck egg at Tk170-180, Pakistani chicken egg Tk175-180 and indigenous chicken egg at Tk200-210 a dozen in the kitchen markets on Sunday-Tk 10-15 hike per dozen in one week.
Wholesale price of farm egg (red) also hit a record high of Tk9.20 per piece on Sunday in few farm hubs, according to the Bangladesh Egg Producers' Association, that indicates the price spiraling trend will persist for next few days.
BEPA said red farm egg was selling at Tk850 to 920 per hundred pieces in Tangail, Gazipur, Dhamrai, Savar, Sirajganj, Brahmanbaria, Cumilla, Narayanganj, Nowabganj and other areas---Tk 100-120 hike in prices per unit.
Delwar Hossain, a grocer at Jafrabad in Rayer Bazar in the city, said he purchased red farm egg at Tk970 per hundred pieces from city trader which was hardly Tk850 a week back.
Grocers were selling per four pieces of red egg at Tk42-44, per dozen at Tk 125-130 and a single egg at Tk11 in the city.
Nashir Ahmed, managing director of Advance Poultry and Fish Feed, said the number of poultry farms declined notably in 2020 and 2021 for the pandemic following a record low of poultry item prices during lockdowns for months.
Most of the closed farms could not begin their operation yet resulting in a decline in production of eggs, he said.
Adding to this, poultry feed prices have also increased significantly amid surge in prices of raw materials like soya meal, other oil extractions, maize etc, he said.
He added production cost of per piece of red egg is now minimum Tk7.50 for small farmers and Tk7.25 for big farms---Tk1.0 per piece hike.
He said farmers raised price by Tk0.8 to Tk 1.0 per piece in last one and a half weeks.
According to the Department of Livestock Services, the country's egg production hit all time high of 17.36 billion pieces in the fiscal year 2019-20.
People affiliated with Bangladesh Egg Producers Association and Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council said production started declining from April 2020 amid the first lockdown. The recovery was yet to be made, they said.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) vice president SM Nazer Hossain said prices of all essentials have increased in recent time pinching the poor and even middle-income consumers.
He said a vast population consumes farm egg as key protein source amid the rocketing trend in prices of other sources including beef, chicken and fish.
He added the price has increased in the farm level for surge in feed prices which is justifiable but price gap between the farm and retails should be minimised to give consumers some relief.
The government should also look after the feed price seriously as it has been causing surge in prices of all protein items including beef, mutton, fish, chicken and milk.