A carton of ten fresh, house-brand free eggs from four large national supermarkets in weight class L (63-73 grams) has become 4.5 percent more expensive since the start of this year, according to data from data firm Superscanner, which tracks prices. Super Market.
This is half the inflation rate of about 3 percent said by the Central Planning Office (CPB) for the Netherlands for the whole of 2023.
The egg price increase comes on top of last year. At the end of December, you paid nearly 21 percent more for your egg at the supermarket than in the previous year.
“Soon more expensive”
And you may end up paying more at the store. Because of the prices which farmers obtained from egg dealers in recent weeks by more than 11 percent.
Egg prices are likely to rise further in the near future, Tom Schutman estimates. He is the editor of Pluimveeweb.nl, the Dutch poultry industry’s news website.
Eggs are always in high demand this Easter, but there’s more in play. According to Schutmann, the fact that the price of eggs in the store has already risen sharply is mainly due to bird flu.
Because of bird flu, there are fewer chickens that can lay eggs. In one year, about 50 million birds were killed from infected farms in Europe. In the Netherlands alone it was about 6,000,000 Chicken, duck and turkey. But there was also bird flu outside of Europe.
“Around the world, the global supply of eggs has decreased dramatically in the past year. As a result, egg prices around the world and in the Netherlands have skyrocketed,” says Schottmann.
Demand by industry
At the same time, there is a growing demand for eggs from the industry, explains Bart-Jan Oplat, president of the Dutch Federation of Poultry Farmers. For example, biscuit factories, spaghetti makers, and mayonnaise producers also need eggs.
At first they could rely on their stock, but that can no longer be done, Oblat says. Without all the necessary ingredients, these producers simply cannot produce.
So they create additional demand. the price driven by the industry For whites it has already risen by 14 percent this year. Oplaat describes the price of eggs that the industry has paid over the past six weeks as “abnormally high”.
Poultry farmers’ costs have also gone up. Oplat says that the price of fodder has skyrocketed because of the war in Ukraine.
Grain is an important ingredient in chicken feed and grain exports from Ukraine have declined. Younger laying hens are also becoming more expensive due to the higher price of feed.
Contracts and free market price
Poultry farmers have contracts for about 70 percent of the eggs laid by their chickens, with companies sorting the eggs by weight, packing them and then delivering them to supermarkets. Oplaat explains that the remaining 30 percent is sold on the open market.
In bad times, supermarkets don’t have to pay such a high price for those eggs, but now it’s different. The free market price of eggs can be higher than Target pricesaid Oplat. According to him, the free market price can also go up faster than the target price at times like now.
More expensive in Duty Free
By making contracts, the supermarkets make sure of a good portion of the eggs they think they can sell. They will have to buy the rest on the open market. Now they pay a relatively large sum of money for the last 30 percent, which they buy in the free market. They’ll want to pass that on to consumers. Supermarkets are also being cautious about the price they stick to now for eighteen months, which is when the hens lay eggs, Oblate says.
After all, if Russia’s war in Ukraine ends tomorrow, the price of fodder, he believes, will fall. Hence supermarkets can enter into cheaper contracts. Thus, the lack of contracts means that more eggs must be bought on the open market temporarily. And now it has to be done at a relatively high price.
In this video, you can see why grocery prices are rising, while inflation is lower now than it was a few months ago:
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