Trade Ministry orders a stock of 15 million eggs from India to tackle price hike
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka’s Trade Minister Nalin Fernando threatened egg producers to reduce the egg prices or face stiff competition in the market with imported eggs, as the government will be importing import 15 million eggs from India.
Sri Lanka imports 30 million eggs monthly after the prices hit 65-70 rupees per egg after the government slappped price controls on eggs, amid maize import controls, leading to culling of the layer chick population and parent birds in hatcheries.
Minister Fernando said the egg prices have come down to as low as 35 rupees in government-owned Sathosa super markets.
“We will be importing until December 31. If we haven’t imported eggs, they have estimated the price to hit 90-100 rupees,” Fernando said.
The Sri Lanka State Trading (General) Corporation said an order was placed for another 15 million eggs from India.
Its Chairman Asiri Walisundara noted that Sri Lanka is due to receive the eggs by Monday (18).
The quality inspection reports of another 10 million eggs that were imported are due from the Department of Animal Production and Health on Saturday (16).
The Sri Lanka State Trading (General) Corporation said the distribution of eggs has also increased, adding that 1 million eggs were released daily for Sathosa outlets.Its Chairman added that the number will be increased to 2 million.
Sri Lanka’s eggs were around 20 to 25 rupees before the rupee collapsed in April last year from 200 to 360 to the US dollar.
Sri Lanka’s chicken meat and egg prices are generally higher than the world due to import licensing on maize which has pushed up production costs.
Maize taxes are only cut to make triposha, a supplement for children facing malnutrition which was started during severe import controls and money printing by macro-economists running government and central bank policy in the 1970s.
In August 2023 Sri Lanka lowered the so-called maize mafia tax, which allows politically connected collectors and farmers to make large profits to 25 rupees from 75 rupees a kilogram.
The maize tax, among the worst regressive protectionist food taxes on the island that used to drive self-sufficiency (autarky) as well as the linked import licenses have been blamed for firing corruption and childhood malnutrition by some critics.
Sri Lanka’s daily egg output is estimated to have dropped to about 4 million a day from the normal 7 million after farmers killed layer chicken for meat in the wake of price controls imposed by the Consumer Affairs Authority last year.