South Korea to import
1,500 tonnes of fresh eggs ahead of Lunar New Year
Send a link to a friend
[January 13, 2017]
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea is set
to import 1,500 tonnes of fresh eggs before the start of the Lunar New
Year holiday season in an effort to prevent prices from spiraling higher
amid a worsening shortage caused by the country's biggest-ever bird flu
South Korea's agriculture ministry said in a statement on Friday
that 1,500 tonnes of shell eggs, meaning about 25 million eggs, are
expected to come into the country from the United States and Spain
ahead of the holiday. Many traditional dishes such as Korean
pancakes require the use of eggs in the Lunar New Year, which begins
on Jan. 27 this year.
The ministry said it expected the egg imports to bring some relief
to the country's egg crisis, sparked by the widespread bird flu
outbreak which has led to a record cull of more than 31 million farm
birds, mostly egg-laying hens.
The average retail price of 30 eggs shot up 75 percent to 9,491 won
($8.09) as of Friday compared with prices before the first bird flu
outbreak of the winter in mid-November, according to state-run Korea
Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp.
As part of measures to ease the country's egg shortfall, Asia's
fourth-largest economy temporarily lifted import tariffs on eggs and
finalised negotiations with the U.S. and Spain to clear egg imports.
The first batch of U.S. fresh eggs will arrive in South Korea on
Saturday, which is the first time for Korea to bring fresh eggs from
the United States and the first imports of fresh eggs since 1999.
[to top of second column]
In addition to the fresh egg imports, 695 tonnes of egg products
such as dried whole eggs and frozen egg yolks, are also set to be
imported before and after the holiday season, the ministry statement
(Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.