Culling of laying hens sends egg price up

by Lal Gunesekera

Egg prices have gone up by 50 cents within two weeks and on Thursday (30), the retail price in the open market was Rs. 14. 50 per egg, while in the super markets it was Rs. 17. During the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in April it was only Rs. 11.

When an egg was Rs. 15 to Rs. 16 in 2011, the Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade intervened and imported about 10 million eggs from India and made them available through Sathosa, Co-op City and Mini Co-op City outlets throughout the country.

The Island learns that the large scale poultry farmers have sold laying batches for meat to create an artificial shortage and increase egg prices.

Confectionaries find it difficult to get their requirements and their suppliers cannot provide 4,000 to 5,000 eggs per week.

The owners of hatcheries have reduced the importation of parent stock causing a shortage of one-day-old pullets. This will also have an adverse impact on the layer population of the country, according to market sources.

President of the All-Ceylon Poultry Association (ACPA) Dr. D. D. Wanasinghe, when asked for comment told The Island that the ACPA was not involved in price fixing and that the large scale farmers were not in direct contact with them (ACPA) and managed their affairs independently.

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