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Thailand: Rallies and heat cause low egg supply

Soaring temperatures and increased demand during the red shirt rallies in Thailand are being identified by the Commerce Ministry as contributing factors to the reduced egg supply, which has pushed up the retail price.

DG of the Internal Trade Department Vatchari Vimooktayon said egg prices and yields are a seasonal problem, but both would come back into balance soon. Vatchari said a meeting will soon be held of staff from the Commerce and Agriculture and Cooperatives ministries and layer chicken farms to find a solution to the problems facing the egg industry.

There was an oversupply of eggs in the past and prices fell. Today, egg prices have shot up because of soaring temperatures in the hot season which have led to a 20% drop in egg production from previous egg yields of 24 mln to 25 mln eggs a day.

The rising demand for eggs during the red shirt rallies also caused a shortfall in supply, she said, adding that he Internal Trade Department has sought the cooperation of the layer chicken association, traders and exporters and major layer chicken raisers to stabilise the price for mixed egg sizes at 2.80 baht an egg at the farm gate, 3 baht wholesale and 3.30 baht retail. This will be a temporary measure.

She said a survey conducted by the Commerce Ministry has not found any overpricing but admitted retailers in the provinces might have marked up their egg prices.

"We believe the price situation with eggs will ease over the next two weeks because of falling temperatures which will push egg production back up to normal," she said.

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