Prices of cake and other pastries are seen to go up soon as egg prices remain high due to tight supply, a group of bakers said Tuesday, about three days after they also warned of bread prices rising by P2 to P4 due to costlier eggs triggered in turn by recent cases of bird flu.
Asosasyon ng Panaderong Pilipino president Chito Chavez told ABS-CBN that pandesal and bread loaves will not be affected as much by the higher egg and sugar prices compared to other pastries such as sponge cakes.
“What’s directly affected here are the (makers of) mamon, cakes, egg pie, brazo de mercedes, (pastries) that are really dependent on eggs,” he said.
“There is no alternative to eggs when baking a cake… If eggs aren’t fresh, bakers won’t be able to produce fluffy mamon,” Chavez added.
He noted that egg prices have increased from P155 per tray last year to P215 this year, forcing bakers to adjust prices to still make a profit.
Chavez said many small bakeries, especially in the provinces, have closed shop owing to low sales and high prices of raw materials.
He urged the government to help small bakeries in pushing for “agribread” products such as malunggay pandesal.
He said bakeries cannot ignore the price hike in eggs nor can they reduce the variety of breads and pastries they sell since many have already slashed their product portfolio due to inflation.
“We are left with only a few choices for breads and pastries. If we do so, it’s as good as shutting down our bakeries,” he said.
Bakers said they have not considered using egg powder as alternative as it is more expensive and they prefer to use fresh farm eggs.
Gregorio San Diego, president of the Philippine Egg Board Association, confirmed that production is on the low side due to bird flu outbreaks in egg producing regions.
Eggs retail at P7 per piece for medium-sized ones, which are the preference of most consumers.
“The cycle may persist until yearend and may recur thereafter or may continue for prolonged period, should there be new outbreaks,” he said.
He added that there are no solid figures on egg production that makes forecast for the industry a perplexing task.
The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) explained that the rising prices of eggs – an essential ingredient for all bread goods – was due to bird flu, particularly for poultry farms in Central Luzon.
Group president Rosendo So also explained it wasn’t feasible for local bakers to import eggs as it would take up to eight days to reach local users when egg stocks were usually sold within three days.