The national benchmark price of eggs in Belgium, set each week at an auction in Kruishoutem, West Flanders, went up by 2.5% on Wednesday. For battery-cage eggs, the increase topped 5%. The price of eggs had already gone up by 6% last week in the wake of the crisis sparked by the contamination of eggs with the insecticide Fipronil, since producers and business people felt that the foreign demand for eggs, mainly in the Netherlands and Germany, would continue to rise.
The price of a white egg coming from a cage-reared hen is now 42% higher than last year. “A panic reaction can be observed within the industry,” commented Geert Albers, who represents the producers. ”The food industry needs eggs to produce pasta, cakes and other things. There’s a fear that there is not enough to satisfy the demand,” he added. “This price increase is good news, even if all producers will not be able to benefit from it.”
The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Industry, Afsca, announced on Tuesday that 21 companies were still under a temporary ban in connection with the Fipronil crisis.