, the Atkins Diet and festive season set to push up prices of eggs

Market conditions are pointing towards higher egg prices this autumn.

Industry sources said the rises are due to a combination of buoyant demand, lower production and soaring feed costs.

Demand has been boosted thanks to the Atkins Diet as well as the British Egg Industry Council’s Lion scheme.This has been further exacerbated by the seasonal upturn in requirements from the manufacturing sector in the approach to Christmas.

Despite this, however, egg producers have not expanded production, mainly down to concerns over the impact of new EU welfare legislation.

Market conditions have been further affected by the avian influenza outbreak which decimated egg production in the Netherlands, one of the EU’s largest egg exporters.

Feed costs have also spiralled upwards following this year’s poor grain harvest and the industry estimates the additional cost to production of 4p to 5p a dozen. This means producers will be pushing for a 5 to 7p rise on graded, packed eggs to the retail trade.