Egg prices set to rise

Australian consumers could soon be having to fork out more for eggs when they do their supermarket shop.

Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) has blamed the expected price hikes on soaring grain costs.

Farmers are having to pay more for grain because America's mid-west, where corn and soybean crops are grown, is in the grip of a severe drought.

Grain is the biggest cost farmers have in producing free range, barn-laid and cage eggs.

AECL managing director James Kellaway said the higher grain costs incurred by farmers could lead to egg prices rising by about 50 cents in shops.

"I think we will see price rises flowing immediately, but just how much will depend on a variety of factors including the status of contracts between the egg producer and the distributor," Mr Kellaway told AAP.

"Ultimately prices are determined by the retailer and not by the industry."

Egg farmers have individual contracts with grain suppliers and because they are staggered to expire at different times price increases for egg products initially won't be universal.

Commercial egg farmers are already reeling from the cost of feed being at its highest level in three years, and if grain costs keep rising there is a chance that the highs of 2008 could be exceeded.

Global food security was major concern four years ago, driving feed products to near-record levels.

Due to the expense of importing grain products and strict quarantine laws almost all egg farmers use home-grown feed.

"Egg farmers do not want to wish to compromise on the quality of feed grain provided to our laying hens," Mr Kellaway said.

"Australian egg farmers are passionate about only using quality feed."

QUOTES

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.