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Egg prices to remain high before stabilization next year: report

All News 15:44 January 17, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- Egg prices will remain high toward the end of the year before stabilizing next year due to the supply shortage from the outbreak of bird flu across the country in November, a report said Tuesday.

The producer price of 10 eggs is estimated to be 1,772 won (US$1.5) this year, up 62.3 percent from a year earlier, the report by the Korea Rural Economic Institute said.

Egg production is expected to decline 12.7 percent to 560,000 tons this year from the previous year with the culling of more than 30 million chickens since the avian influenza broke out in November, the report said, forecasting the prices will stabilize next year when the number of chickens returns to normal.

South Korea's daily egg output had been 42 million eggs on average, but fell below the 30 million level since the bird flu outbreak.

"Egg prices will stabilize a bit earlier than the recovery in the number of chickens," an institute official said, adding next year's prices will likely be set at a bit higher than those of last year considering the oversupply of eggs before the bird flu outbreak.

Experts check samples of eggs imported from the U.S. at Incheon International Airport in this photo taken on Jan. 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

South Korea imported 1.6 million eggs from the United States last week. It is the first time South Korea imported eggs from any foreign country.

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.

Egg prices to remain high before stabilization next year: report - 2

hdh@yna.co.kr
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