An epidemic of bird flu has hit the Mexican egg industry, resulting in hoarding and a national egg shortage and a spike in egg prices.
According to the Washington Post, prices have risen to about $3 per dozen eggs. Mexican’s consume more then 350 eggs per person each year and the spike in prices hits the Mexican economy hard, especially the working-class.
The egg shortage and resulting rise in prices has been the primary topic in Mexico’s media. The crisis has even prompted the mayor of Mexico City to ship tons of cheap eggs to poor neighborhoods within the city, utilizing refrigerated trailer-trucks to take the eggs into working-class neighborhoods over the last three days. Each pack of eggs is selling for less then half the current market price.
The crisis began in June with the detection of bird flu in the western state of Michoacan. Michoacan produces roughly half of Mexico’s eggs according to CBS news.
The shortage has also sent the Mexican federal government scrambling to find solutions to the crisis. One solution they have announced is an emergency program aimed at getting fresh chickens to farms that have been hit by the bird flu outbreak. They are also planning on restocking grocery store shelves with eggs imported from Central America and the United States, CBS News reports.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced $227 million in emergency financing and commercial measures to boost production and replace the estimated11 million chickens that had to be destroyed after the June bird flu outbreak. He went on to say
“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,”
Mexico City’s public Food Supply Center director/ Raymundo Collins, said the center dropped other ingredients from its truck this week in favor of eggs. They plan to distribute 18 tons of eggs by Monday.
President Felipe Calderon said
“The federal government will keep using every tool in its power to keep family’s quality of life from being eroded by unfair increases in the price of eggs.”