The entry of new players in the local layer industry allowed the country’s chicken egg production to rise to an unprecedented level last year, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA data showed that chicken egg output in 2020 grew by almost 4 percent to 605,786.16 metric tons (MT), or about 12.721 billion pieces. Last year’s output was 22,552.16 MT higher than the previous record production of 583,234 MT in 2019.
Philippine Egg Board Association (PEBA) Chairman Gregorio San Diego said the industry underwent “big expansion” as some of the hog raisers affected by African swine fever (ASF) shifted to chicken egg production.
“There is a big expansion in the layer industry, more so this year. Marami kasi pumasok, a lot of them are hog farmers affected by ASF,” San Diego told the BusinessMirror.
He noted that demand was “okay” for the most part of last year and the impact of the increase in production was only felt toward the end of 2020.
“The increase in supply was already felt toward the end of the year as was reflected in the reduction of egg prices.”
PSA data showed that the average farm-gate price of chicken eggs in the fourth quarter of 2020 declined by 1 percent to P5.62 per piece from P5.68 per piece in the same period of 2019.
PSA data also showed that the average farm-gate price of chicken eggs in December declined by 2.1 percent to P5.64 per piece from P5.76 recorded in the same month of 2019.
As of January 1, the country’s chicken layer population expanded by 4.19 percent to a record-high of 42.928 million birds, from 41.202 million birds posted in the same period a year ago, PSA data showed.
The BusinessMirror reported last year that Filipinos were forced to find alternative livelihoods to earn and survive the pandemic and egg reselling in their communities, such as subdivisions or online, was one such fallback.
The apparent shift was also caused by the need to have a stockpile of food, especially during the height of lockdowns imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country, PEBA President Irwin M. Ambal said. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/08/17/good-disruption-more-people-buy-eat-eggs/).
The rise of egg resellers, San Diego said, was able to offset the loss of the layer raisers’ hotel, restaurant and industrial (HRI) markets. HRI accounts for 25 percent to 30 percent of the layer industry’s market.