LAHORE - Price of eggs has hit an all-time high of Rs 130 per dozen in retail markets, as layer farming has reduced by almost 30 per cent during the period of last one year.

Poultry farmers claimed that production of eggs fell significantly in recent months mainly due to shutdown of a huge number of layer farms with the outbreak of diseases last year and effect is still going on.

Pakistan Poultry Association north zone chairman Dr Ghulam Mehboob attributed the high rates of eggs to short supply following drop in production.

The retailers are fully cashing in on winter season demand as eggs prices have reached an all-time high. In third week of September this year, eggs rate stood at Rs88 per dozen (Rs7 per egg) and it started climbing continuously on increase in demand due to falling temperatures. In the second week of October, the eggs price had reached Rs105 per dozen or Rs9 per egg, market sources said.

Dr Mehboob said that prices of eggs are frequently going up due to the short supply and high demand. He said that a large number of farms were closed in last few months, resulting in decrease of both the poultry birds and eggs production. Moreover, the demand for eggs usually goes up during winter due to limited supply, he claimed.

“Many factors that have resulted in increase in the cost of production include currency depreciation, which has spiked the cost of imported poultry medicines and vaccines. In addition, soybean meal - the major vegetable protein source for poultry feed - is not produced locally and has to be imported from India. Sometime back, it was worth 200 dollars per ton.

But, today it is over 500 dollars per ton as one dollar used to trade at Rs 85 and is now close to Rs 98. Furthermore, various means of transportation is used to take the poultry from farms to the retail market, which also adds to the production cost,” PPA North chairman observed.

He said that prices of poultry products, including eggs fluctuate due to demand-supply mechanism. As it is a perishable product and there’s not enough storage facility available, it has to be sold immediately, irrespective of what price the farmer gets.

Major beneficiary of the increased rates of eggs are bakery owners and retailers, which are minting money following record rates of the one of the most desired breakfast item of all seasons. The citizens have urged authorities concerned to take action against those who are charging more profits and demanded for fixation and monitoring of the prices which would benefit the common people.