Cost of egg remains exorbitant still

There is no change in the price of eggs despite the DoL resuming the import of parent stock to produce layers and broilers

Consumers were taken aback a few months ago in late August when the price of egg unexpectedly increased from Nu 380 to Nu 440 per tray.

The cost per tray had then reportedly expanded by 15%. The Department of Livestock (DoL) then justified saying that the delay in import of parent breeders due to the Covid-19 pandemic caused the price to shoot up. 

Because of the pandemic, there were travel restrictions and closure of international flights, which caused the delay in importing the parent breeders before February this year, although the DoL had started to distribute the Day-Old-Chicks (DOC) to the cooperatives and farmers. 

However, even after almost two months now, the price of eggs in the market continues to remain the same and shows no signs of dropping.

 An egg distributor in Thimphu, Namgay Tenzin said that the suppliers have hiked the price and they increase the price every week.

Tshering Tamang of Tsirang Poultry Cooperative (TPC), which is one of the highest egg producing cooperatives in the country, said the main reason behind the price rise is because of the increase in the price of feed and other raw materials, like saw dust and feeding equipment, which increased twice a year.

“These have added up the production cost.”

Tshering Tamang sells a cartoon of egg at Nu 2,500 presently, while earlier a cartoon of egg would cost a maximum of Nu 1,900.

Another reason for the high cost of eggs in Thimphu is that the cooperatives have local vendors, who buy from them and then sell it here in Thimphu at higher prices adding the transportation cost. 

 Consumers on the other hand are not happy with the price increase.

“Eggs are an important component in our diet. It has become hard to afford for the middle and low-income earners,” said Pema Dongha, a resident of Thimphu.

He added that it has become easier to buy meat instead of egg because of the price.

Meanwhile, Karma Euden, a shopkeeper in Thimphu, said if they don’t sell at the present price of Nu 440 per tray, they will lose money as they buy from the vendors at Nu 415.

Another shopkeeper said, “I used to bring about 50 to 60 cartoons of eggs before. Nowadays, we get only 20 cartoons for the same amount.”

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu