GLOBAL – Global egg prices have reached historic high levels, causing a big impact on the egg supply worldwide, with the prices expected to remain relatively high throughout 2023, especially in markets heavily impacted by avian flu, high feed costs, and regulatory changes. 

Rabobank’s global egg price monitor reached record-breaking levels in Q1 2023, with the index now peaking above 250, which means prices are 2.5 times higher than the reference year of 2007 and have increased more than 100% since last year.

According to the bank’s latest “Eggflation” report, high global prices have been driven by a combination of supply and demand factors.

Nan-Dirk Mulder, a senior analyst with Rabobank, outlined that another key factor to the inflation has been high feed costs, which has had a big influence on egg prices.

“Feed represents 60-70% of a layer farmer’s costs, so any change or uncertainty surrounding feed costs affects egg prices and supply,” he stated. “Global feed prices doubled between mid-2020 and mid-2022.”

However, Mulder said global egg prices have also been highly influenced by bird flu outbreaks, disruptions due to Covid-19, and changing consumer behavior because of cost-of-living pressures.

In its latest report, the bank also noted the introduction of new regulations in some countries has impacted the egg market and the prices.

“The introduction of male chick culling at the hatchery level in Germany in 2012, for example, has had a big impact on the market.”

“Similarly, the introduction of a cage ban for producers in New Zealand has led to a 5-12% drop in laying hens in the country,” the report outlined.

According to Rabobank , egg prices used to follow the United Nations’s Food and Agriculture Organisation Food Price Index but since 2022, prices have kept rising while food prices have started to drop. 

“In general, we expect egg prices to stay relatively high throughout 2023. However, there will be differences between countries,” the bank stated.

This is currently a great concern about high prices impacting the affordability of eggs for low-income consumers, especially in emerging markets.

However, Rabobank stated that one of the main tools to stabilize the markets is to ensure better value chain cooperation is initiated.

It also highlighted in its report that a greater commitment from buyers to offset farmers’ high production risks would also help stabilize global egg prices.

In addition, the bank revealed that better control of bird flu in some of these countries will help stabilize the prices.

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