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Rising poultry prices a chicken and egg problem: Sapa

| Economic factors

Egg prices are likely to rise more sharply than chicken prices, the South African Poultry Association (Sapa) warned.

Unlike the poultry meat industry which is dominated by big players, eggs tend to come from small, family-owned farms — and they are being driven out of business, according to the association’s senior executive Charlotte Nkuna.

"Price squeezes by retailers, increasing input costs and labour issues, all have a significant impact on the profitability of egg producers," she said.

Egg farmers exiting the industry has seen the market move from oversupply to shortage in two months.

"The National Agricultural Marketing Council and Stats SA are mistakenly reporting that meat prices have increased considerably. This is however not the case: rather, this impression is the result of a problem with the data collection system. The real increase lies in the price of eggs," the association said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The market for hens that have finished their productive lives will see an increase in supply in the short-term. However, this will be followed by a period of shortage as farmers start keeping their flocks for longer to compensate for the shortage of eggs, further exacerbating the shortage of low-cost chicken and pushing up the price for those who can least afford it," it said.

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