Due to farmers' higher production costs, government-controlled egg prices should increase by four and a half agorot per egg at the retail level, an interministerial committee recommended on Tuesday.

The proposal needs the approval of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Agriculture Minister Orit Noked, but both are expected to sign off on the move.

The committee, made up of officials from the two ministries, convened after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the joint pricing committee to discuss the farmers' demand.

In the past, Steinitz opposed increasing egg prices because Weinstein had not intervened on the issue. This time around, the panel concluded that the farmers' increased production costs justified the four-and-a-half-agora price hike.

Although regular eggs sold at the supermarket are subject to price controls, specialty eggs including free-range and organic eggs are not. At stores, those eggs are generally double the price of price-controlled eggs - and about 98% of the eggs sold in the country are price-controlled.

Among the higher production costs, the egg farmers cited a 30% increase in chicken-feed costs over the past two months. At the beginning of the week, egg farmers said they would cut off supplies to stores due to their demand for a price hike. They called off their sanctions after receiving assurances that Steinitz and Noked would approve the price increase.