Ban on egg exports extended for a month
The ban on egg exports will be extended for a month, starting tomorrow, to ensure a sufficient supply for domestic consumption, the Commerce Ministry said on Monday.
Last Tuesday, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit banned egg exports for a week as prices soared as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, hinting that the ban would be extended if the situation didn't improve.
Egg prices in the provinces have increased by three to four times, after people stocked up on eggs, causing a supply shortage.
Farmers and middlemen have blamed each another for "holding back" eggs from the market to profit from the increased demand.
Yesterday, Mr Jurin said because the ministry saw the need to stabilise prices while maintaining optimum output, it also decided to delay the retirement of laying hens from 72 to 80 weeks.
According to the minister, around 40 million eggs are produced on a daily basis, which is supposed to be more than enough for domestic consumption, and output has remained unchanged despite the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, the minister said demand has risen sharply after people began hoarding eggs.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Thais are buying three times as many eggs than they would normally buy, according to the Commerce Ministry.
Mr Jurin said egg prices should be pegged at 2.80 baht apiece and distributed as quickly as possibly to prevent retail prices from spiralling out of control.