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Market mismanagement behind the rise of egg price

The price of broiler chicken eggs in the markets around the capital have soared to tk 170-180 (Tk 14-15/piece) per dozen in a span of a week.

Local chicken eggs are also being sold at Tk 220-230 per dozen in some places around the city.

Market experts and people involved with the egg market say mismanagement in the market is responsible for such an instability in egg prices.

Alam, president of Baridhara Notun Bazar Owners Association, told UNB, “I think the price of eggs is increasing repeatedly due to market mismanagement. Mismanagement of supply and lack of oversight are responsible for creating unstable conditions in the market. The reason behind such frequent surge in product prices should be identified.”

He said the concerned agency should play an effective role in controlling this frequent surge in price of products in the market.

“Otherwise, the rate at which the price of eggs is increasing cannot be controlled,” Alam said.

Nadeem, a customer at Gulshan kitchen market, told UNB that there is a weakness in the market monitoring system, as a result, the traders are increasing the price frequently.

He also urged the concerned agency to take effective action in this regard.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Poultry Association (BPA), an association of local farmers producing eggs and chickens, has called for coordination in the market management to ensure fairness of the price.

BPA President Sumon Hawlader told UNB, “Monitoring of the market has to be strengthened. The price of egg and chicken should be adjusted at a reasonable rate keeping the cost of production in mind.”

“In this way, market conditions will be normal. The government has to take steps to ensure that no syndicate can create instability. Otherwise, it will be difficult to control the price of eggs,” he said.

According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) the price of broiler chicken eggs stood at Tk 140-150 per dozen last week, reflecting a significant 10 percent surge compared to the week before.

According to the Bangladesh Egg Producers Association, the country requires between 35 and 40 million eggs per day to meet demand. And the majority of the eggs are sourced from domestic producers.

The Department of Livestock reports that over the last 10 fiscal years, the nation’s egg production has more than doubled. The country produced 1,017 crores of eggs in 2013-14, and 2,338 crores of eggs in 2022-23.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim told UNB, “According to the survey of our Livestock Department, it costs more than Tk 10.50 to produce an egg. Even If we take other costs and profit into consideration, it seems to me that the price of an egg should not be fixed at more than Tk 12.”

“If Tk 12 per egg is set, the producers will benefit. Apart from this, if someone tries to create instability in the market, the authorities will take necessary action under the Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009.”

Regarding whether the ministry will fix the price, Rezaul Karim said, “It is not a matter of fixing the price. Earlier, in 2010, there was an issue of fixing the price of chicks. In that case, the court questioned whether the ministry could fix the price in this way.”

Meanwhile, the government is also considering importing eggs from outside to bring stability to the egg market.

Responding to a question regarding egg import, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said at an event on Sunday morning that the Commerce Ministry cannot import eggs without the cooperation of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

“The decision to import eggs will be taken only after the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock gives a green signal.”

However, when asked about the commerce minister’s statement, the livestock minister said, “We will consider the issue of importing eggs in a different way.”

“Whether the Commerce Ministry will consider this issue independently or not is up to them. I think, with the current production rate of eggs in the country, there will be no need for imports if we can ensure proper management of the market.”

On fixing the price of eggs, the commerce minister said that if the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock decides the market price for eggs, then the Directorate of National Consumers’ Right Protection will be conducting raids to ensure control of the price of eggs.

With the egg market suddenly unstable, the Directorate of National Consumers’ Right Protection are already conducting raids in various warehouses in the capital and imposing fines, he said.