Egg prices rise on higher feed costs


A man ferries eggs along Ronald Ngala Street, Mombasa on January 27, 2021. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG

Consumers are paying more for eggs following a shortage caused by expensive feeds that has pushed up supplier prices in the market.

Egg prices, which had dropped to as low as Sh280 per tray in April last year, have now shot up significantly to retail at Sh360 per tray, a price that was last seen in October 2020.

The higher cost of feeding chicken has pushed many farmers out of business, resulting in the shortage of egg.

Kiambu Farmers Cooperative Society coordinator Zachary Munyambu said out of the group’s 750 members, only 430 are still in business with the rest having shut down.

“Most of our members have closed, running a poultry farm has become unsustainable because of high cost of feed,” he said.

Shopkeepers in Nairobi said they were forced to adjust the price of an egg upwards to Sh15 on average, or Sh25 for two, in response to the increase in wholesale price.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to find eggs nowadays because of a shortage in the market, a situation that has forced us to raise prices to compensate for higher wholesale prices,” said Mr James Ng’ang’a, a shopkeeper in Nairobi’s Shauri Moyo estate.

A spot check at Maziwa market, which supplies parts of Nairobi's Eastlands with eggs, established scarcity with traders complaining of difficulties in getting supplies from farms.

The cost of animal feeds has hit a record high after Zambia—one of the main source markets— banned the export of soya and sunflower meals, which are major raw material used in feed production.

The cost of Soya doubled to Sh130 from Sh65 a kilogramme in August last year, while sunflower meal went up from Sh25 to Sh35.

As a result, the price of a 70-kilogramme bag of chick marsh is retailing at Sh4,200, up from Sh3,250 while layers marsh is now selling at Sh3,800 from Sh3,100 in August last year.

The price of other key ingredients such as wheat bran have also gone up to sell at Sh28 a kilo from Sh18 previously while maize germ is retailing at Sh30 from Sh20 previously.