4 million eggs shortfall in Taiwan

31-01 | | |
While there are multiple factors behind the shortage, some say that the Covid-19 pandemic is to blame as breeders were discouraged from replenishing their stocks of chicks. Photo: Lisanto NgUYo
While there are multiple factors behind the shortage, some say that the Covid-19 pandemic is to blame as breeders were discouraged from replenishing their stocks of chicks. Photo: Lisanto NgUYo

Taiwan’s daily egg demand is about 22 million, but it currently supplies just over 18 million, which is a shortfall of about 4 million eggs a day.

Taiwan last experienced an egg shortage in January 2019, when the island imported 1.4 million eggs from the US and Japan.

Chinese New Year will be celebrated in Taiwan in just a few days, on 1 February, but Taiwan residents are battling to find eggs at local supermarkets and hundreds of restaurateurs have taken to social media to complain that they can’t get eggs, reports The Global Times.

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Sold out in 3 hours

Taiwan English News reports that some of those selling eggs at supermarkets and markets are not receiving orders at all. Others are completely out of stock or say that they order about 20 crates a day and whatever is delivered sells out in about 3 hours. The cold weather has been to blame, for some, and for others, the impact of avian influenza, climate instability, and rising international prices for materials.

Taiwan News notes that while multiple factors are behind the shortage, one of the reasons is the slump in demand last year during Level 3 Covid-19 alert that discouraged breeders from replenishing their stocks of chicks.

‘No profit for egg farmers’

Others believe the primary reason for the shortage is “the ‘freeze price order’ issued by Taiwanese authorities which violates market mechanisms, resulting in no profit for egg farmers, meaning many have quit the business,” as reported by The Global Times.

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Egg production and supply are plentiful on the mainland, and proximity to the island means lower transport and time costs. However, Wang Jianmin, a Cross-Strait expert at Minnan Normal University, told The Global Times that due to political reasons, Taiwanese authorities have imposed strict restrictions on the import of agricultural products and materials from the mainland and that more than 800 agricultural products, including eggs, have not been opened to the mainland.

Egg shortages to remain through Chinese New Year

It is unclear for how long the egg shortage will continue; however, it appears that there will be a severe egg shortage for at least another month or longer. In the meantime, authorities are taking measures to address the scarcity – a total of 600,000 eggs will be imported from Australia and the US every week, reported Yaiwan News.

Berkhout
Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist
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