Supply at risk next year

The German egg industry is sounding the alarm: Eggs may soon become scarce in the retail sector, pasta and pastries will also be affected. The high costs are to blame for this.

The Federal Egg Association (BVEi) warns that the supply of eggs can no longer be guaranteed. Higher feed and energy costs have led companies to leave their stables empty, reports the “Lebensmittel Zeitung”.

As a result, the retail sector will not be able to be sufficiently supplied. In the egg products industry, which supplies pasta and confectionery manufacturers, there is a massive reduction in working time due to the scarcity, quotes the Lebensmittel Zeitung BVEi chairman Henner Schönecke.

Higher costs meant fewer chickens — and eggs

The association warned about the crisis a year ago – and then again in March of this year. According to the association, the number of pullets housed fell sharply last year, in 2021 only 29.4 million chicks hatched, about a quarter less than in the previous year. As a result, fewer chickens means fewer eggs.

According to “Lebensmittel Zeitung”, in addition to the increased energy and feed costs, the extra costs for sex determination procedures in the egg and the co-financing of the brother rooster rearing are responsible for the crisis. Since killing male chicks has been banned since January 1, 2022, the cost of keeping them has more or less doubled.

In addition, the situation is exacerbated by the currently prevailing bird flu.

Eggs from abroad are not allowed to be sold in retail

The shortage of eggs in the trade cannot be compensated by imports from abroad, as the killing of male chicks is not avoided there – their sale is therefore not allowed in Germany.

As early as December last year, the BVEi called for a ban on the killing of chicks across Europe “so that German laying hen farmers do not face even greater difficulties as a result of this huge competitive disadvantage”.

The bottleneck also poses another problem for manufacturers: they are now threatening contractual fines for not being able to supply retailers with the promised quantity of eggs. More flexible contracts are needed here so that manufacturers can better respond to price fluctuations.

However, the “Lebensmittel Zeitung” quotes circles that Edeka should not be ready for this. As a result, the dealer may not get enough eggs next year.

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