PBBM asks why egg prices spiked; to meet producers, traders

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban to arrange a meeting with egg producers and traders to determine why the prices of chicken eggs have surged in recent weeks despite a sufficient supply in the market.

CABINET MEETING. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. presides over a meeting with members of his Cabinet on issues concerning the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Information and Technology (DICT), and Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.

Mr. Marcos, who also heads the DA as its concurrent secretary, issued the order during a Cabinet meeting.

At the same time, Marcos said the government is rationalizing the importation schedule of sugar to match the local production of the commodity.

With egg prices rising sharply, the President told DA officials to explain why there was a wide gap between farm gate and retail prices that benefited mainly the traders.

“We determined that the increase in the price of eggs is not commensurate to the increase in production cost,” the President said.

“So we will have to have a look to see how to control that because we cannot explain almost one-half of the profit margin that we are seeing. We cannot attribute it to cost,” the President said.

Based on the DA’s price watch as of Jan. 13, medium-sized eggs retail at P9 each, compared to P6.90 in December 2022.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The DA said eggs should just retail between P7 and P7.50 per piece, given its farm gate prices. Reports show that eggs are being sold as high as P9.60 per piece.

To address the situation, the DA earlier reconvened the Price and Volume Watch Committee and Advisory Groups for Livestock and Poultry to closely watch the prices of eggs across the country.

In an interview on January 14, Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said that the agency is eliminating “certain layers of traders” to bring down prices of chicken eggs.

“We are coordinating with [Philippine] Egg Board also to see the supply situation, and if there are bottlenecks. Right now, what we are doing also is to eliminate certain layers of traders because that will also help bring down the price,” Evangelista said in a media forum.

The Agriculture Department, in its report to Malacañang Palace, said that the farm gate price of medium chicken eggs is pegged at P6.97 per piece, 7.89 percent higher than the price in December 2022.

On sugar, the President said rationalizing the importation schedule would help normalize prices of the commodity.

“We would not import while the price of sugar is low. This would normalize the price,” he said.

Marcos made the remark in the wake of his recent order to establish a two-month buffer stock of sugar.

Marcos said having a buffer stock of sugar for two months will help stabilize the supply and prices of the commodity. He also said building up a sugar inventory would avoid shortages in the future.

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