Eggsactly why are egg prices going up so much?
Egg prices have increased dramatically during the last few months.
It´s been a subtle increase, but eggs have been quietly increasing in price.
The price of “M”-class eggs has increased by 50% so far this year, rising from 96 cents per dozen to 1.44 euros according to the figures published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment.
This price rise has coincided with the introduction of new rules governing the raising of laying hens on 1st January. The new rules mean that cages have to be adapted to new regulations designed to improve the birds’ wellbeing, with each bird occupying a space of at least 750 square centimetres, and that the hens’ claws have to be trimmed.
The regulations were introduced in order for Spainto comply with the European Directive concerning Animal Wellbeing, which has meant an investigation into the situation in Spain.
Producers are now having to ensure that they meet the new standards laid down, and in Spainthis has meant that fewer laying birds are being kept. As a result, the supply of eggs has fallen, and the price has risen.
Even before the new rules came into operation the number of eggs produced in Spainwas dropping: in 2009 the industry moved a total of 1,087.6 million euros, but in 2010 the total fell by 22% to 894.6 million euros.
According to the Ministry’s figures there are 720 egg-producing establishments in Spainhousing 43.5 million hens, and in December it was estimated that about half of the cages were already adapted to meet the new requirements.
This decrease in production is not just a Spanish problem, with less eggs being produced across Europe, and higher egg prices in general.
However, it is also affecting the Spanish egg-based food industry, with many businesses producing food products which contain eggs noticing not only the increase in prices, but also the lack of eggs.
Inovo, the association representing the Spanish egg-based product industry, say they are worried by the situation, and that it could affect all sectors of the food industry which require eggs for their production processes. Spanish producers of sauces, pasta, pastes and bakery products, where eggs are a vital ingredient, are suffering from a lack of raw materials.
57 companies in Spainare registered as egg-based product manufacturers.
Annual production is estimated at 110,000 tons of liquid egg-based products and 5,500 tons of boiled eggs, either powdered or in other forms. This equates to about 15% of Spain’s total egg production.
As normal , for the end user , all of this means only one thing - increased prices!
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