POULTRY owners in Bantayan Island have increased the prices of their eggs due to the increase in prices of feeds they purchased from Cebu City.

Alan Pastoril, president of the Bantayan Island Layer and Hog Raiser Association Inc. (BILHRA), told SunStar Cebu Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, that this is the main reason they imposed another increase about two weeks ago.

Pastoril said the cost of feeds has been increasing almost every two weeks, which has forced them to also increase egg prices gradually.

He said the cost of 50 kilograms of feeds now stood at around P1,800, adding that every bird consumes 110 grams per day.

Pastoril said the current cost-to-produce per egg is about P6, referring to the capital that includes the cost of the feeds, electricity, water, salary for manpower, among others.

“Kinahanglan, mobaligya mi more than P6 per egg kay para makaginansya pod mi,” Pastoril said. (We have to sell at more than P6 per egg so that we can make a profit.)

“Hinay-hinay man pod mi. Dili man pod mi bigla nga mosaka lang pod sa presyo kay every two weeks man mag-increase ang presyo sa feeds,” he added. (We gradually increase the price. We don’t do it abruptly because the prices of feeds rise every two weeks.)

The association president said middlemen could now buy 30 medium-sized eggs or a tray at an average of P190 from the island’s 100 poultry owners.

In the past, middlemen could buy medium-sized eggs for an average of P185 per tray.

Pastoril, however, said the prices in the market depend on the prices middlemen offer to retailers.

He said the war between Ukraine and Russia caused the start of the increase in prices of oil products that resulted in the increase in prices of other products such as feeds.

Pastoril said their cost-to-produce per egg prior to the war was only around P5.20, adding that the 50 kilograms of feeds cost only around P1,400.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Pastoril stressed that majority of the poultry owners in the island had been experiencing losses since July 2022 due to the increasing prices of feeds.

“We also can’t just raise the prices of eggs at will because the consumers would no longer buy them if we raise them,” he said in Cebuano.

He said many retailers continue to buy eggs produced by poultry owners in Bantayan Island.

He said Bantayan Island’s price per egg is lower than that of Manila.

Pastoril said the island could produce about 1.9 to two million eggs per day, making it the egg basket of Central Visayas that supplies eggs to Cebu mainland and other parts of the country.

Explain surge

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered Department of Agriculture (DA) officials to determine the reason behind the surge in the prices of eggs in the country despite there being enough supply in the market.

In a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, Marcos instructed DA Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban to meet with egg producers and traders to find out why prices of chicken eggs have surged in recent weeks, noting the widening gap between farm gate and retail prices, benefiting mainly the traders.

“We determined that the increase in the price of eggs is not commensurate to the increase in production cost,” he said.

“So we will have to have a look to see how to control that because we cannot explain almost one-half of the profit margin that we are seeing. We cannot attribute it to cost,” he added.

As of Jan. 13, the DA, headed by Marcos, said the price watch for retail of medium-sized eggs was at P9 each, much higher than the P6.90 per piece in December 2022.

The DA said the retail price of eggs should just be between P7 to P7.50 each, given the farm gate price of eggs, which is pegged at P6.97 per piece.

DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said the agency is eliminating “certain layers of traders” to bring down prices of chicken eggs.

“We are coordinating with the [Philippine] Egg Board also to see the supply situation, and if there are bottlenecks. Right now, what we are doing also is to eliminate certain layers of traders because that will also help bring down the price,” she said in a press conference.

“Hopefully, mas maganda ang production also of the eggs. There are some challenges that our egg producers are faced with that are now being addressed by our Bureau of Animal Industry,” she added. (MKG, TPM / SunStar Philippines)