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Where Have All The Eggs Gone?

by 5m Editor
25 April 2007, at 10:56am

ISRAEL - Supermarket chains have been busy since the beginning of the year trying to find out where all the eggs have disappeared to.

The two largest chains, Super-Sol and Blue Square have been reporting shortages and irregular deliveries of eggs under supervision of the Agriculture Ministry - Number 1 and 2 eggs - and the large wholesalers agree that there is a problem.

However, the marketing board responsible for planning and supervising egg production says there is no real shortage.

Uri Pelah, a vice president of Blue Square says that for three or four months there has been an egg shortage: "The egg suppliers and producers claim that they are not allowed to import [eggs], there is a big shortage and customers are upset." The situation at Super-Sol is similar, and they say that the situation has only gotten worse since the recent holidays - and no one is taking responsibility.

Tnuva, one of the three largest egg suppliers, agreed that there is a shortage in general and that it is continuing to import eggs. The Egg Producers Board approved imports of 8 million eggs for consumers and 5 million for industry last week, but it will take time until these arrive.

The Agriculture Ministry said that it has not received any complaints from consumers, despite claims by the supermarket chains that they are inundated with such calls.

However, open air markets tell a different story. There, there is no shortage of eggs at all.

One industry source explained that this is the result of a black market in eggs: "When there is a shortage, producers prefer to sell first to intermediaries who come to pick up the eggs and deliver them to open markets. In such a situation, producers cannot meet their quotas, and make them up in later months. For these intermediaries there is no supervised price."

Source: Haaretz.com

5m Editor