Tags: avian | flu | egg | shortage | four months

Avian Flu Sparks Egg Shortage Concerns, but Should Be Under Control Soon

Image: Avian Flu Sparks Egg Shortage Concerns, but Should Be Under Control Soon
(World Organization for Animal Health)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 02:41 PM

Avian flu has farmers across the country concerned about possible egg shortages, but the World Organization for Animal Health said this week that the outbreak should be under control within four months.

Egg-dependent companies are contemplating drastic action to replace the need for U.S. eggs, whether it be finding substitutes for eggs or importing eggs from foreign countries, Reuters reported via Fox News.

A representative for Archer Daniels Midland Co. said that, as egg supplies become even more restricted and prices rise, the food processing and commodities business has received many inquiries from manufacturers about the plant-based egg alternatives it produces.

The United States is coping with its largest outbreak of bird flu to date, which has led to the culling of 40 million birds. The disease has been recognized from courtyard flocks to large commercial farms in Canada and 16 American states, Reuters noted.

Now, because of the resilient dollar strengthening the buying influence of U.S. importers, some companies have begun scouting for egg supplies overseas.

“The U.S. has never imported any significant amount of eggs, because we’ve always been a very low-cost producer,” said Tom Elam of the agricultural consulting company FarmEcon. “Now, that’s no longer the case.”

Unlike the Asia outbreak in 2003, the highly contagious virus has yet to cross over to humans in America, however the spread of the illness is imaginable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since the outbreak, the general market price of standard eggs has increased from $1.19 to $2.03, according to Headline & Global News.

An industry group of U.S. bankers began this week assertively campaigning for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress to accelerate their approvals on egg imports.

"We have members whose egg suppliers are already cutting back how much they'll receive in the next few weeks, while others are not getting any," Cory Martin, vice president of government relations for the American Bakers Association, told Reuters. "They're looking for eggs everywhere. And the problem is, too, there's not enough egg substitute available right now to make up for the demand."

However, companies looking for imported eggs may have to do business oversees.

"Canada is short on eggs and has been buying heavily from the U.S. for the last several years," said Rick Brown, a senior vice president of Urner Barry, a commodity market analysis firm. "Mexico has been dealing with its own outbreaks of avian influenza, so they're banned from importing into the U.S. The logical place people will be looking now would be Europe.”

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Avian flu has farmers across the country concerned about possible egg shortages, but the World Organization for Animal Health said this week that the outbreak should be under control within four months.
avian, flu, egg, shortage, four months
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2015-41-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 02:41 PM
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