Market News

Egg prices rise as Covid-19 hurts production, supply

EGGS

Workers loading of eggs. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Consumers are paying more for eggs following a shortage that has pushed up supplier prices.
  • Egg prices, which had dropped to as low as Sh280 per tray in April, have now shot up significantly to retail at Sh360 per tray.
  • Shopkeepers in Nairobi say they are now forced to sell an egg at Sh15, or Sh25 for two eggs, in response to the increase in wholesale price.

Consumers are paying more for eggs following a shortage that has pushed up supplier prices.

Egg prices, which had dropped to as low as Sh280 per tray in April, have now shot up significantly to retail at Sh360 per tray.

Shopkeepers in Nairobi say they are now forced to sell an egg at Sh15, or Sh25 for two eggs, 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 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 Kenya Poultry Farmers Association chair Wairimu Kariuki said the decline in supply was caused by both reduced imports and a cut in production locally.

She added that due to the Covid-19 disruptions, large production farms had opted to scale down their activities.

“At the time when the containment measures were put in place, farmers had surplus and they could not sell it anywhere, most of them were forced to scale down and this is what has affected supply today,” said Ms Kariuki.

Kenya has been getting more supplies from Uganda, but the government moved in last year to seal loopholes that allowed for the illegal imports at the border to curb flooding of the local market with cheap eggs that were pushing local farmers out of business.

Ms Kariuki warned that the cost is expected to rise further in the coming days as the shortage is projected to continue for a while given that many farmers are yet to fully restock their layers.

The situation could also be worsened by the high cost of feeds that have gone up to Sh3,700 for a 70 kilogramme bag from Sh3,300 in a span of one nearly a year.