Bird flu could push up egg prices

Bird flu and transport restrictions are affecting breeders in Hungary, and the stock of chickens has been culled by 10 percent

Not only has bird flu cost the Hungarian government 9.8 million euros so far, but it has taken a toll on egg producers both in terms of various restrictions imposed by the authorities and the culling of chickens.

According to Magyar Idők today, the outbreak is putting pressure on farmers and egg producers and it may affect prices on the market.

László Végh, head of the Egg Producers Association, said that bird flu was affecting breeders in the European Union and in Hungary, and territorial and transport restrictions were causing them difficulties. Further, the stock of chickens has been culled by 10 percent.

A drop in the number of eggs on the market is not unusual in January as breeders replace their stock, but there are normally ways to make up for the shortfall such as by accumulating stock in the period after Christmas. This year, however, demand has remained high.

Given that egg imports are also affected due to bird flu in other parts of Europe, a dearth of eggs could result in upward pressure on prices.