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S. Korea to import more eggs in June to stabilize prices

Economy 17:00 June 10, 2021

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top economic policymaker said Thursday the country plans to increase imports of eggs this month in a bid to help stabilize high prices caused by the outbreak of bird flu here.

The country seeks to bring in 70 million eggs in June, more than the initially planned imports of 50 million, according to Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.

Since late January, the country has increased imports of eggs by a total of more than 100 million to ease a supply shortage.

Prices of eggs have jumped since late last year, affected by the outbreak of bird flu and high demand from stay-at-home consumers amid the pandemic.

The country has reported no cases of the highly pathogenic bird flu for nearly two months. But a surge in egg prices has shown no letup as the number of layer chickens remained low following the massive culling of poultry over avian influenza.

Hong also said the government plans to supply 80,000 tons of reserved rice to the market in June in an effort to help stabilize rising prices of the country's key staple food.

South Korea's consumer prices grew 2.6 percent on-year in May, the fastest gain in more than nine years, due largely to high prices of farm and oil products.

The country's inflationary pressure remained subdued last year amid the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But price pressure is building up fast due largely to last year's low base and an accelerating economic recovery.

A citizen shops for groceries at a discount store in Seoul on June 2, 2021. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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