Mexican ‘Egg Crisis’ To Cost $230 Million

September 4, 2012Mexicoby EW News Desk Team

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 The Mexican government will spend nearly $230 million to restore egg production in the country after 11 million chickens had to be slaughtered following an outbreak of bird flu, claimed a report by the Washington Post on Monday, with an extreme shortage of eggs causing prices to double since June this year. 

“This is no joke, because Mexicans like their eggs, and the price of eggs is the price of breakfast, and it is breakfast that gets children to school, people to work,” said food stall owner Carmen Moreno, from the Roma neighbourhood in Mexico City.

"People here eat a lot of eggs. They were the cheapest, but now they're the most expensive. They're more expensive than meat,” added Isidro Vasquez Gonzalez, 43, in an interview with the Associated Press.

Last week as such, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon went on television and promised to bring egg prices down, announcing $230 million in emergency financing to replace the slaughtered chickens and vowing to punish food speculators in the country.

“We will not allow Mexican families, especially those who have less, to see their pocketbooks affected by unjustified increases in the price of this basic commodity,” Calderon said.

Related: British Bank Makes $838 Million From “Food Speculative Activities”: Report

Related: World Bank Promises Action To Counter Rising Food Prices

Related: World Food Price Hikes Driven by Speculation and Derivatives

According to AP, the Mexican government has even suspended tariffs on egg imports to allow thousands of additional tons of eggs from the U.S. to head south.

The cost of eggs in Meixco is now around 40 pesos ($3) to a kilo, more than double what it was in June. Mexico has the highest-per-capita egg consumption on the planet, with an average Mexican consuming more than 350 eggs per year – 100 more eggs than what an American would eat.

Calderon told AP last week that more than 150 tons of eggs had already crossed the border from the U.S., with 500 more tons expected to arrive in the country over the weekend.

"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," the president said.

Related: ‘Chicken Crisis’ Stirs Public Dissent In Iran

Related: China Scrambles To Crack Down On “Fake Eggs”

Mexico’s Association of Egg Vendors is also warning its members not to sell eggs at prices above 40 pesos in the future, or face the possibility of heavy fines. This though has led many egg sellers to hoard their supply, worsening the crisis further.

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