SINGAPORE: At least three supermarket chains have lowered their egg prices this week, with one cutting prices by as much as S$1 for a tray of 30 eggs.
The price reduction was led by NTUC FairPrice on Wednesday (Apr 20), with other industry players following suit shortly after.
"FairPrice is glad to be able to lead in the price drop, causing a ripple effect where other industry players have also dropped their prices," a spokesperson said in response to questions from CNA.
"This ultimately benefits everyone in the community where consumers can purchase eggs at a lower price, at their own preferred retailer."
NTUC FairPrice on Wednesday said it would reduce the cost of a tray of 30 Pasar fresh eggs to S$6.95 for one week, until Apr 27.
This is down from the original price of S$7.50 per tray, a 55-cent discount. FairPrice said it would "absorb the cost" of the price cut.
The promotion is available across all FairPrice supermarket retail formats, including FairPrice Online, and is limited to two trays per customer.
“FairPrice strives to provide good value through various ways including special discounts for products where possible," said Mr Tng Ah Yiam, chief procurement officer at FairPrice Group.
"In this case, we are absorbing the increased cost of eggs to provide a special discount for our popular Pasar fresh eggs.
"This has not been easy as we, too, struggle with the rising costs of goods, labour and logistics,” he added.
Supermarket Giant has similarly cut the price of its Giant farm fresh eggs until Hari Raya Puasa on May 3.
A tray of 30 eggs now costs S$6.50, a discount of S$1 from S$7.50.
"Giant is doing this in the spirit of Hari Raya giving as we understand that these are challenging times and eggs are a staple for many households," said a spokesperson for DFI retail group, which manages Giant supermarkets.
"We are investing in these prices to make a difference in our customers' lives, especially around the crucial festive seasons," said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson said rising commodity and supplier cost pressures, the ongoing pandemic and global conflicts have all driven up the price of eggs.
Egg prices at Cold Storage - which is also managed by DFI retail group - remain unchanged.
This is because that supermarket does not carry Giant farm fresh eggs, the spokesperson said.
"We are working hard to see how we can provide greater value to our customers at Cold Storage as well," said the spokesperson.
On whether Giant would continue to keep prices of its farm fresh eggs down, the supermarket will consider "customer response ... and market conditions" before making that decision, the spokesperson said.
Checks by CNA showed that Sheng Siong supermarket has also cut prices for a tray of 30 fresh eggs to S$6.90, from S$7.50.
DISCOUNTS COME AMID HIGHER EGG PRICES
Supermarkets told CNA previously that egg prices have risen across the board due to production, labour costs and freight, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also pushed up food prices. Ukraine is one of the biggest exporters of grain, which is the main ingredient in chicken feed. This makes it more expensive to rear chickens and pushes egg prices up.
Singapore's core inflation rate, which measures the average change in prices for things like food, electricity and gas, came in at 2.2 per cent year-on-year in February. For food alone, the inflation rate that month was 2.3 per cent.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have cautioned that core inflation is likely to pick up further in the near term, and could reach 3 per cent by the middle of the year before easing in the second half of 2022 as external inflation recedes.
Checks by CNA last month showed that the price of a pack of 30 Pasar fresh eggs was S$6.15 at NTUC FairPrice in February, up from S$4.75 in the same month in 2021.
Fresh eggs from Sheng Siong saw a similar increase from S$4.65 for 30 eggs in February 2021 to S$6.15 in the same month this year.
Rising egg prices have also hit those in the food and beverage industry for whom eggs are a staple.
One bakery is worried about losing customers if they raise prices. "We've already raised prices once, we can't raise it again," said a woman who runs the bakery.
"If we raise (prices), customers won't buy from us. If all the customers run away, how are we going to stay in business?"
One hawker said she would "monitor the situation".
"We already promised customers that we'll not raise prices by more than 10 cents," she said.