Manzanillo Sun article


2012 Freda Rumford September 2012

By Freda Rumford from the September 2012 Edition

Mexico currently has an egg shortage. Some egg producers have been hoarding eggs to the point that prices have soared. This, in a country which has the highest egg consumers in the world.

There has been a summer epidemic of bird flu in Mexico’s egg industry which has doubled the cost of a dozen eggs to more than 40 pesos ($3). Statistics show that Mexicans eat 350 eggs per person each year. That’s 100 more eggs per person than United States.

Egg prices have spurred Mexico City’s mayor to ship tons of second grade eggs to poor neighborhoods and the Federal Government has formed emergency programs to get healthy chickens to farms hit by bird flu. Supermarket shelves now carry eggs imported from the U.S. and Central America, and eggs have disappeared from many street-side food stand menus.

“Eggs, as you know, are one of Mexicans’ most important foods and make up a core part of their diet, especially in the poorest regions of the country,” President Felipe Calderon said Friday. He also announced that he was allocating about $227 million in emergency financing for the egg producers of the country and stated that about 3 million hens were being sent to farms affected by the flu outbreak.

The Mexico City mayor has sent a trailer-truck of eggs into working-class neighborhoods over the last three days, selling them for less than half the current market price. Several thousand people lined up for about two hours Friday morning to buy them. From being the cheapest source of protein, they are rapidly becoming the most expensive.

The June detection of bird flu in the western state of Michoacán, became the onset of the crisis. Some 11 million birds were killed to prevent the spread of disease. With the then obvious shortage of eggs, Government officials blame speculators in the wholesale egg business for hoarding and driving up prices up to this ridiculous cost.

More than 150 tons of eggs had already crossed the border from the U.S. and 100 trailers carrying 500 more tons were expected to arrive over the weekend. It is not yet known how these prices in the capital have affected other states in Mexico.

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