When egg and chicken supplies began to dwindle in September last year due to this country’s worst season of Avian Flu, there were dire predictions of shortages and price increases before the all-important festive season.
Empty shelves greeted shoppers looking for eggs, and the catering industry was forced to look for alternatives before imports could start to fill the gap. However, the industry responded promptly and supplies began to build up, although predictions are that it will take at least 18 months to a year before the industry recovers fully.
Despite some concern, no-one was forced to forego their roast chicken or favourite take-away pre-Christmas and New Year, as stocks recovered and the industry was able to supply enough chicken for the holidays.
So, in the event there were no long-term shortages. However, there were price increases. Between September and December the price of frozen chicken pieces (IQF) rose by approximately 6%.
Eggs prices were meteoric, with a whopping 41% increase between September and November, which decreased slightly in December, but still ended the year with eggs increasing in price by more than a third overall.