The price of eggs has started to fall in the capital after the government's announcement it would, if necessary, import eggs and strengthen market monitoring to rein in undue price hikes.
The price of eggs per dozen has now gone down Tk10-15 in the wholesale markets of Karwan bazar, Rampura, Mirpur, Segunbagicha and other markets in the capital on Thursday.
A dozen eggs sold for Tk135-Tk140 in Karwan bazar and Tk140-Tk145 in Segunbagicha. Four broiler chicken eggs went for Tk50 which was Tk55. However, small shops in residential areas sold eggs for Tk150 per dozen.
Besides eggs, broiler chicken prices also dropped to Tk190-Tk195 from Tk200.
On Wednesday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told reporters that if the price of eggs does not go down, eggs will be imported.
Poultry entrepreneurs and traders said the long-term increase in feed prices has increased the cost of broiler chicken and egg production, and the recent fuel price hike has raised transportation costs, making matters worse.
However, they also said the price of eggs has increased more than it should have as a group of unscrupulous traders are taking advantage of rising costs in different sectors.
About the increase in transportation fare, egg wholesalers said that an egg truck that comes from Tangail can bring up to 60,000-80,000 eggs. The fare has increased from Tk6,500 to Tk8,000.
If the fare increases by Tk1,500 on a vehicle of 60,000 eggs, the effect is only Tk0.25 per egg.
According to the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), currently, the production cost of a broiler chicken egg is Tk9.50 and the production cost of broiler chicken per kg is more than Tk140, mainly due to the continuous rise in feed prices.
The production cost of an egg in January 2021 was Tk6.05, which stood at Tk7.73 in January this year. In the current month, this has jumped to Tk9.50.
That is, from January of last year to the current month, the cost of egg production has increased 57%.
Similarly, the cost of production of broiler chickens has also increased. From January 2021 to the current month, the production cost of a broiler chicken has increased from Tk106 to Tk145, an increase of about 37%.
Recently, at a meeting of BPICC entrepreneurs with Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Secretary, Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury, entrepreneurs complained that the price of eggs has increased more than what it should be. Wholesalers took advantage of the situation and destabilised the market.
At the meeting, the entrepreneurs told the secretary that due to the increase in the price of feed, raw materials, and fuel, many farmers are closing their businesses due to losses. Quick steps should be taken to save this sector as marginal farmers play the biggest role in egg and chicken production. Unfortunately, they have become hostages in the hands of the syndicate. Locally, area wholesalers set the price of eggs and farmers have to sell eggs at that price.
Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury said in the meeting that quick steps will be taken to cover the losses of farmers and to keep the price of eggs and chicken bearable.
However, rejecting the complaint of syndication in the market, Bangladesh Egg Traders Association President, Aman Ullah, said, "Traders determine prices based on company rates. When companies raise prices we have to raise prices too. Today, we sold 100 eggs for Tk940."
BPICC President Moshiur Rahman said, "It is not right to make a sudden decision to import at present. Rather, we have to think of how to protect farmers, how to eliminate the crisis in the industry."
Broiler producers said, due to an increase in fuel prices and load shedding, farms are closing down across the country, due to which the weekly demand for baby chickens has come down from 1.80 crore to 1.30 crore.