Taiwan will import up to 5 million eggs from Australia by the end of March in an effort to alleviate the nation’s egg shortage, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said on Thursday.
An uptick in avian flu infections and big temperature swings last year resulted in a dip in Taiwan’s egg production, causing a nationwide egg shortage in 2023.
A COA report showed that daily egg production in Taiwan last week was 113,000 boxes, each box containing 200 eggs.
However, the latest statistics revealed that the number of locally produced eggs fell by 1,000 boxes this week to 112,000 per day.
The drop in production means Taiwan currently faces a daily deficit of between 500,000 and 800,000 eggs, Chen said at a press conference.
To fill that gap, Taiwan will import eggs that will be allocated to businesses in Taiwan’s food processing industry to ensure stable food supply, he added.
In addition, the COA plans to budget NT$3.3 billion (US$109 million) over three years to help local poultry farms modernize their operations, of which NT$1.8 billion will be designated for farm renovation as well as waste treatment and processing.
At the presser, the minister also addressed rumors and criticisms relating to the nation’s egg shortage.
Responding to claims by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) that eggs in Taiwan now cost between NT$15 and NT$20 per egg, Chen dismissed the numbers as inaccurate.
Currently, he said, the farm price is approximately NT$4.2 per egg, with wholesale price estimated to be about NT$5.2 and supermarkets selling to customers at approximately NT$6.
Despite the shortage, the 112,000 boxes of eggs produced daily this week are higher than the 107,000 daily production during the same period last year, the minister said.
Meanwhile, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) on Thursday also addressed Zhu’s comment, saying he believes people in Taiwan are able to discern the truth for themselves.
The premier added that he is confident the nation’s egg shortage will be resolved by the end of March.
Source : Focus Taiwan