Cause of Armenia's Egg Shortage Discussed

ARMENIA - The country's recent egg shortage was the result of panic buying, according to the head of a poultry farm, and may be repeated at Easter.
calendar icon 18 January 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

The head of a poultry farm has blamed the unprecedented shortage of eggs across the country in the last days of December on increased consumer demand saying Armenian households bought more eggs than they needed to get prepared for the New Year and Christmas holidays.

Arka reports that it was impossible to buy eggs in Yerevan stores in the last week of December after their retail prices jumped by at least 40 per cent, to between 80 and 120 drams (US$0.33) apiece, in a matter of days. Farmers blamed the shortages on increased consumer demand but critics claimed it was a collusion of several poultry farms.

Speaking at a news conference, the head of Lusakert poultry farm, Manas Yepremian, said production of eggs ahead of New Year holidays had increased 10 per cent but that appeared not to be enough.

He said: "People were panicked and began buying more eggs they needed and that led to the shortage and as a result the prices sky-rocketed." He added that average egg consumption in the world is 210 pieces, while in Armenia the figure is 284. In terms of egg consumption, Armenia is in fifth position.

Mr Yepremian added: "Mass media give too much attention to this problem triggering panic. I cannot exclude that the situation may repeat ahead of Easter. Although the government tries to address the situation, the market develops under a different scenario. I can state only there was no collusion."

He added that Lusakert poultry farm had to import eggs from Iran and Ukraine to meet the demand and halted imports right after the holidays.

Last week, a former Armenian prime minister, Hrant Bagratian, claimed the unprecedented shortage of eggs reflected in all likelihood a fresh attempt of monopolising this market, according to Arka.

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