Eggs have become dearer in the local market due to a reported shortage in supply and a price hike in the source countries, say market sources.
Prices have gone up by more than 30 percent over the past few weeks, while demand for this popular food remains high. The price hike is attributed to the well-known demand-supply equation, as traders say that production of egg goes down during winter, while consumption shoots up.
A crate of imported egg containing 30 pieces was earlier available at QR16 or QR17 but no brand is now available at prices below QR21. Most popular brands have vanished from the shelves while some new brands are available at higher prices. Prices for a 30 piece crate now vary from QR21 to QR24.
The low-priced locally produced egg from the sole poultry company in the country is hardly visible in popular shopping outlets since their supply meets only a meager portion of the demand.
Saudi Arabia is the major exporter of egg to Qatar and prices of egg in the neighbouring country had gone up since last month. Besides the hike in prices, there is also a shortage in supply of Saudi egg, say traders.
“Most popular Saudi brands that were relatively cheaper are now short in supply. Some new brands from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are coming but the prices are high. We are getting very few quantities of the locally produced egg that is not sufficient to meet even five per cent of our demand,” a senior official of a leading hypermarket told this daily last evening.
“We learnt from some producers that production of egg usually declines during winter whole consumption goes up,” he added.
He said despite the high prices, demand remains high resulting in a shortage in supply. The market is not expecting an immediate fall in the prices, he added. Another leading retailer also confirmed a hike in whole sale prices and a shortage in supply of Saudi eggs.
“Wholesale prices have gone up by more than QR50 per box which has caused a proportionate increase in retail prices,” he said.
A section of the Saudi media recently reported an increase of SR1 to SR2 in retail and wholesale prices of egg in the Kingdom, for a 30-piece crate. The hike was attributed to high demand and the changing production cycle.
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