Europe facing egg shortage ahead of Easter holiday
Production down, prices up due to cage requirement challenges
Europe's egg industry is facing decreased production and consumers are facing increased prices ahead of the Easter holiday due to challenges resulting from the European Union's new cage requirements for laying hens, according to reports.
EU-wide production of eggs since January 1 has dropped by 10 percent to 15 percent, about 200 million eggs per week, according to the European Egg Processors Association, and prices on some international markets have as much as tripled in March, peaking at over €2 (US$2.60) per kilogram. Overall, the price for table eggs in early March was 55 percent higher compared to 2011 numbers.
Price hikes are spread out by country, however. While half a dozen premium eggs at a Warsaw, Poland, market cost €1.6 (US$2.12), they stood at €2.71 (US$3.62) in a Brussels, Belgium, supermarket. The Polish poultry chamber said that in the second week of March, prices were 63 percent higher than in the last week of January and over double 2011 numbers.