Singapore is facing an oversupply of eggs, suppliers say.
Egg prices falling due to oversupply
Egg prices temporarily rose in April due to a number of border restrictions that were imposed regionally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, raising questions on whether Singapore's food supply will be affected.
The issue was resolved with the diversification of imports, as Singapore sourced eggs from other countries as far as Poland and South Korea.
However, the situation has seemingly reversed.
Suppliers are now facing an oversupply of eggs, causing egg prices to plummet by at least two cents each, reported Lianhe Zaobao.
With import restrictions lifted, supplies from Malaysia, Thailand, and other countries have resumed, resulting in a surge in supply, said egg sellers.
Fall in demand for eggs by F&B businesses in recent months
Egg distributor Kai Young Huat (KYH) imports 80 per cent of its eggs from Malaysia.* (See correction note below.)
According to the company, recent sales have fallen by at least 10 per cent, citing reasons such as reduced demand from hotels, restaurants and hawkers.
The lack of celebrations during Hari Raya Puasa was also factored in as part of the slump in demand for eggs.
The spokesperson for KYH also told the Chinese daily that they could only reduce a limited number of eggs being imported, as they feared that the demand for eggs would spike again next month.
"While imported eggs can generally be kept in the chilled warehouse for four to six months, to ensure freshness, we try to sell them as quickly as possible even if it's not profitable.
At the moment, the eggs that were imported in May are being sold at a loss," the company shared.
Had to throw away 250,000 eggs
Kim Hock Egg Distributor's manager shared that their sales had fallen by around half during the last couple of months during the outbreak.
While they have cut their egg imports by roughly 50 per cent, prices were still reduced by around 10 per cent.
The manager added that some hawkers were using a lot fewer eggs due to the dip in customers, with some using 60 per day during the pandemic period from 300 eggs a day previously.
"We had to throw away 250,000 eggs imported from Thailand two weeks ago, as reluctant as we were," the manager lamented.
Egg suppliers estimated that it would take at least one more month to adjust accordingly to the market demand.
However, due to the volatile conditions at the moment, it is still tough for them to predict the right amount to supply.
Fluctuation in egg prices not uncommon
A spokesperson for NTUC Fairprice told the Chinese daily that it was not uncommon for fresh produce such as eggs to have volatile prices, due to several conditions that could affect the supply and demand.
They added that the price of every 30 eggs during the past one-and-a-half months had fluctuated between S$4.50 to S$5.05.
However, the situation seems to be a boon for consumers, as egg supplies are not just in abundance, but also fresh and at cheap prices.
A 48-year-old nurse told Zaobao that she found the eggs at supermarkets to be of much better quality compared to past months, and with more variety as well.
While a portion of Singapore's eggs are imported from Malaysia, Singapore has sought to diversify its supply of eggs, with nearly 30 million eggs imported from other countries.
On June 5, Singapore welcomed its first shipment of eggs from Poland.
In response to queries from Mothership.sg, a spokesperson from SG Food Rescue said: “For companies who need to discard excess food, we hope they can get in touch with us for possible alternative measures.”
*Correction, June 17, 5.30pm: It was previously written that egg distributor Kai Young Huat (KYH) imports 80 per cent of eggs. That is incorrect. It should have been egg distributor Kai Young Huat (KYH) imports 80 per cent of its eggs from Malaysia.
Top image via Joshua Lee