Is there an egg cartel in Singapore?

 

Three Malaysian egg farms, Chong Ne Nam, Teo Seng Farm 8 and Chareon Pokphand Jaya, have been banned from importing eggs into Singapore, after the eggs were found to contain the bacteria Salmonella Enteritidis. (Zhao Bao, 30th September 2014)

That’s not the scary news, this is:

The three farms make up eight per cent of the total egg supply in Singapore and resulted in an average increase of prices by about 3 cents per egg. This is attributed to a reduction of 350,000 eggs.

Think about it – if these three farms that make up a mere 8 percent of the market, could cause enough harm to drive prices up by 3 cents. What’s going to happen when more than 3 farms are affected?

I’d like to know – who is the largest egg supplier in Singapore? Is it Seng Choon? Is it a cartel of egg bosses?

In 2004, the AVA suspended egg imports from Malaysia because of bird flu in Kelantan. To compensate for the shortfall, the AVA worked with importers to increase imports of eggs from other sources such as New Zealand and Australia. Why did the AVA not do this now?

The paranoid in me now starts to wonder: which supplier has the largest share of the meat market? The vegetable supply? Do they have the ability to hold our food supply ransom?

But back to the Salmonella infection…

A spokesperson from AVA said that AVA will consider lifting the ban only after confirmation from the farms that the laying hens are clear from the Salmonella bacteria infection.

A FairPrice spokesperson said that “Prices for eggs have increased by about nine percent on average over the last six months. Prices of the different eggs variety and sizes range from $1.90 to $5.55 per pack/tray. For eggs that are packed in a tray of 10, prices range from $1.90 to $3.95, while eggs packed in a tray of 30 range from $4.20 to $5.55”.

The supermarket also assured customers that there is sufficient supply of eggs, and that there is no need to stockpile as eggs have a limited shelf-life, like all other fresh produce.

 

 

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About the author

Benjamin Chiang

Benjamin Chiang is an enthusiast of good advertising, deep thinking, labour issues and chocolate. He writes also at www.rangosteen.com and occasionally on Yahoo!

The views expressed are his own.

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