WHOLESALE prices of table eggs have increased by 57% over the past few years to $4,50 per tray in the first quarter of 2018, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In an industry update for the first quarter of 2018, Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairman Solomon Zawe said wholesale prices of table eggs increased from $2,86 per tray of 30 eggs in November 2016 and stabilised at $4,50 per tray in the first quarter of 2018.
“The total large-scale laying stock (growing and in-lay) partially recovered from the avian influenza-induced destocking low of 629 000 in August 2017 to 848 000 in March 2018, but was still 80% of pre-AI stock levels,” Zawe said.
“In-lay stocks partially recovered from a low of 478 000 in August to reach 515 000 in March and investments in growing stocks increased significantly from 128 000 birds in December to 333 000 in March 2018”.
Zawe said large-scale table egg production increased from a low of 0,9 million dozen for the period August 2017 to February 2018 to 1,1 million dozen in March.
He said small-scale egg production was estimated to also have increased to 1.8 million dozen per month for the period December to March.
Large-scale, estimated small-scale and total egg production in the first quarter was similar to that of the last quarter of 2018, but was 47%, 3% and 25% lower than the first quarter of 2017, respectively.
The ZPA boss, however, said recovery of the egg market however, would take much longer as investments in layer breeding birds — though positive — have not been at levels accomplished in the broiler sector.
“It is expected, therefore, that prices will remain high in the second to third quarter. The industry is against the importation of table eggs to increase supply given the existing threat of AI in the region,” he said.