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U.S. egg imports arrive in S. Korea

All Headlines 15:37 January 12, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) -- The first batch of egg imports from the United States arrived here Thursday to help ease the supply shortage due to the outbreak of bird flu, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

The shipment of 2,160 eggs, weighing 150 kilograms, arrived at Incheon International Airport at 12:30 p.m. on an Asiana flight, a ministry official said, adding that about 6 million more eggs, weighing 400 tons, will be flown in from the U.S. through Sunday.

The first shipment of U.S. eggs arrive at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Jan. 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

The eggs will be available at local markets after undergoing quarantine and hygiene procedures, which can take several days. The imported eggs will likely sell for about 300 won (US$0.25) each.

U.S. eggs are all white in color while Korean eggs are brown, making it easier for buyers to confirm the place of origin.

"We understand that South Korean retailers are importing more eggs before and after the Lunar New Year's holiday, although 6 million eggs will not be enough to help address the supply shortage," a ministry official said.

South Korean agricultural officials inspect the first shipment of U.S. eggs at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Jan. 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

More than 30 million chickens have been culled across the country since the outbreak of avian influenza in November

The Seoul government has said it will support 50 percent of the shipping costs for egg imports until Feb. 28 to help stabilize soaring egg prices.

It also removed tariffs on imported fresh eggs and egg products for the coming months as the avian flu and subsequent massive culling of chickens have pushed up the prices of eggs, bread, snacks and instant noodles made with eggs.

U.S. egg imports arrive in S. Korea - 3

hdh@yna.co.kr
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