The government will release its egg and poultry stock early next month to stabilize prices soaring again, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.
Depending on price moves, up to 5 million eggs will be released for two weeks at a price 30 percent lower than the market, according to officials at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. For poultry meat, the government will put in 2,100 tons from May 31, an amount equal to one to two days of domestic consumption. The meat will be sold 50 percent cheaper than the market price.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation will purchase the eggs and poultry from the government at wholesale prices and sell them through its outlets nationwide, officials said.
Private distributors, who hold an estimated 6,000 tons of poultry meat, will be encouraged to release their stock as well, they said.
The government is closely watching the egg market for a price resurge. The average price of a 30-egg carton exceeded 8,000 won ($7.09) last week after being stabilized in the 7,000 won range in February. Egg prices had soared for months after the AI outbreak in November.
The ministry is planning to import eggs from Thailand, Denmark and the Netherlands from as early as next month to fend off shortages.
"We expect egg prices to settle down once imports from Thailand begin arriving in June," a ministry official said. "We will continue our monitoring and have related agencies conduct on-site inspections to prevent hoarding." (Yonhap)