EghtesadOnline: High prices of livestock feed, low ceiling for egg prices set by the government and hefty export duties are adversely impacting egg production industry.
Last week, according to Fars News Agency, a deputy minister of Agricultural Jihad announced that exporters were required to pay 35,000 rials [$0.14] in duty per kilogram of egg shipment, "until further notice".
Omid Gilanpour added that the ministry was expected to update export duties in late October.
Nasser Nabipour, the spokesman of Iran's Egg-Laying Hen Union, told IRIB News that the price of livestock feed has experienced a 35% increase in recent days.
Besides, "the government delivers only half of the expected volume of livestock feed to egg production units", he said, "This has resulted in a drop in output. The market is experiencing a shortage of livestock feed."
Nabipour noted that producers cannot afford hefty feed prices quoted in the free market.
Iran produces 90,000 tons of eggs per month. The country produced 1.1 million tons of eggs in the last fiscal year (ended March 19, 2020), of which 41,000 tons were exported.
The country exported over 34,000 tons of egg during the first three months of the current year (March 20-June 20), which emptied the market shelves and led to a price hike.
Consequently, egg export was banned on July 4 temporarily, as per the Industries Ministry’s move to curb price hikes in the domestic market.
The ban was removed on July 21, but exporters were required to pay 40,000 rials ($0.16) in customs duty per kilogram of shipment.
The government has set the price of each kilogram of egg at 120,000 rials ($0.48). This is while producers claim that the production of each kilogram of egg costs 150,000 rials ($0.6).
Farzad Talakesh, secretary-general of Iran’s Union of Producers of Egg-Laying Hen, believes that the business of egg production units is getting more infeasible day by day.
"Investors are optimistic about the possible modifications in the government's pricing policies, because of which they are coping with the losses incurred in recent months," he said, noting that the market would experience a shortage if producers see no improvement in their business.
There are 1,632 egg-laying hen production units and 140 egg packaging units in the country.
Per capita egg consumption in the country prior to the coronavirus stood at 12 kilograms per year.