Scrambled prices put egg lovers’ sentiments on the boil

Bhubaneswar: As if soaring vegetable prices was not enough, the hike in egg price has doubled the concerns of traders as much as the common people for whom it is a staple inclusion in one or two meals on a daily basis.

With the steep fall in egg production by nearly 25 to 30 per cent, the price of per piece egg has shot up to Rs 7 to Rs 7.50 from Rs 5 per piece two weeks ago.

As per the rate chart of National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC), the farm rate of eggs that are being imported from Andhra’s Vijayawada circle to Odisha was Rs 4.20 per piece on November 1. The price has reportedly surged to Rs 5.20 a piece which is why retailers across the state now fetch it at Rs 6 or Rs 7.

The price rise has also affected people who regularly eat out at fast food stalls. These stalls have also increased the rates of different items. “Even a boiled egg is sold at Rs 8. It has really become difficult to eat or take it home for family. We don’t find a reason behind such sudden surge in a commonly consumed item,” questioned a regular customer of a fast food outlet.

A wholesale retailer from Berhampur said,” Grocery shops sell at Rs 6, while in the betel  shops egg price is Rs 6.50 per piece. Being a wholesale retailer, we sell it at Rs 5.75 or Rs 6 and wholesale price is Rs 5.45.”

Meanwhile, the State Food Supplies Minister Surya Narayan Patro, speaking on the issue commented that eggs are not considered urgent or a dependable food. This apart he stated that it is not in the hands of State Government to control the price rise. “May be because of transportation problem due to unseasonal rain, the NECC has raised the prices,” Patra said.

Some reasons behind price rise of eggs could be the rise in vegetable prices that increased the demand for eggs. Second, keeping in view the loss poultry farmers faced last year, the production decreased this year. Third, egg production generally decreases in winter season.

“Egg price in November this year is a little more as compared to last year. However, the kind of sudden surge of 90 paise  a piece in 20 days has affected people. But there is no real reason to get worried,” said Opolfed GM Pratap Patnaik.