Late last year, the price of eggs skyrocketed to two to three times that of some candidate egg exporter countries such as the United States and Spain.
The increasing trend continues in the New Year as well, and egg prices are expected to remain high into the first half of this year.
Lee Jun-heum has more.
Egg prices are increasing with no end in sight.
One day last week, it increased by more than four hundred won. The price hike seemed to cool off momentarily, but soon increased again by more than 100 won.
The highest price, even by official data, will soon exceed 10,000 won.
Already late last year, the prices were about a hundred won more expensive than the wholesale prices from potential egg exporter countries.
With Spain, the difference is almost threefold.
This high price is expected to continue for a while.
The Korea Rural Economic Institute predicted that, in the first half of this year, egg prices will remain similar to the current level, which is in the low eight thousands.
Compared to the same period last year, the retail price is 1.5 times as expensive, while the producer price is twice as expensive.
Even if AI were to be eliminated right now, it takes six months or more for chicks to grow old enough to lay eggs. Hence, many analyze that prices are unlikely to drop in the first half of the year.
<Ji Sun-woo / Researcher at KREI> “As of now, the infected chickens constitute 32% of total chickens raised, so a decline in supply is inevitable. Therefore, the current high prices are expected to continue for a while in the first half of the year...."
The government has decided to import not only fresh eggs but also layer chickens via air, and to take out eggs produced from farms near AI-infected areas within 24 hours of them being laid.
However, as the approaching Lunar New Year is a time of high egg demand, consumers are expected to suffer immediate consequences from the egg crisis.
Lee Jun-heum reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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