UK consumers to witness egg price hikes as producers cut flock numbers

By Tejaswita Tiwari  | Date: 2022-05-21

UK consumers to witness egg price hikes as producers cut flock numbers

Higher egg prices could hit UK consumers as farmers are reducing their flock numbers due to insufficient profit margins and escalating costs.

As per the latest government figures, the number of chicks being placed by egg farmers reduced by 15% year on year in April. The number of eggs set by hatcheries further declined by 35% in April as compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, there was also a reduction in the rate at which farmers were restocking their flocks with new birds.

Over the past months, egg producers have been warning that a wave of rising costs in energy, labor, packaging, and feed were not being reflected in retail prices. They also criticized supermarkets for ignoring the warning signs.

The impacts of chick flock decline on egg availability will not be felt until autumn as existing hens will continue to produce eggs until they are aged 70 to 80 weeks. However, the overall flock count will go down drastically as more poultry operators opt to not replace their hens.

According to, Robert Gooch, the CEO of British FreeRange Egg Producers Association, the shortage of eggs will likely continue unless retailers respond with a price hike. Egg producers require an increase of 3p per egg to forestall a big price rise later this year, Gooch added.

In May, retail prices of eggs were up by nearly 8% or 15p per half dozen compared to 2021, as per a supermarket price tracker,

As per the British Egg Industry Council’s spokesperson, historically, chick placements have risen and fallen depending on factors like how long producers decide to keep the existing hens until they replace them. With the current cost crisis, however, some egg producers are choosing to not repopulate their farms.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) stated that the government agency is aware of the challenges faced across the egg industry, such as the mounting input costs and the impact of Avian Influenza. It is also consistently monitoring the situation and closely collaborating with stakeholders to mitigate the crisis.

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Tejaswita Tiwari

Tejaswita Tiwari

Being born in a family of readers, Tejaswita has always had a natural flair for writing, using that enthusiasm to become a full-fledged writer after earning her MBA in Marketing. Her insatiable curiosity to learn about various verticals has made her a popular research...

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