Egg price stable as Indian imports cease

UAE and Omani egg producers appear relaxed about a ban on chicken imports from India.

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By  Roger Field Published  April 5, 2006

Companies involved in the UAE and Omani egg production sector have refuted local press articles that claimed egg prices soared by 25% to 30% following the UAE government’s decision to ban imports of poultry from India. Usha Bahirwani, marketing director at Al Maya Group, which owns egg and poultry producer Al Jazeera farm, told RNME that the egg market in the UAE has been stable, with no price fluctuations or shortages. “We’re treating everything as normal because I’m sure if there was a problem we would be told by the municipality,” she said. Harish Harwani, a supervisor at Al Maya supermarkets said that despite removing Indian eggs from the shelves, sales had remained stable and other brands were picking up any shortfall in stocks. “The rest of the eggs are moving as normal,” he said. “Everything is ok, there is no problem.” Sales of fresh and frozen chicken have also remained strong, he added. A spokesman at a Dubai-based branch of Spinneys said that while there has been no shortage of eggs, consumption has fallen, which could account for the lack of any shortage. “I think for chicken and eggs, people have got confused that they could also get sick. Chicken and egg sales are around 10% down,” he said. Similarly, producers in other GCC countries have also seen little evidence of an eggs shortage. Sandy McIntosh, acting general manager of Modern Poultry Farm in Oman said the price of the company’s eggs had remained the same. “There’s been no increase in price here. Demand has stayed the same and fortunately, demand for eggs does not seem to have tailed off,” he said. “I think there’s been a fall in the demand for chicken, particularly live chicken but as far as the egg market is concerned I hear a lot of stories but my retail contacts are telling me that there is no change.” But McIntosh added that the situation could change for the worse. Modern Poulty Farm, along with numerous other suppliers, has imported Indian eggs in cold storage, and McIntosh said that when these stocks run out, egg prices could rise.

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