Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Canadian egg producers gain from U.S. avian flu

Canada’s egg farmers are making gains because of the devastation avian influenza is causing in Iowa’s egg industry.

The price for eggs for processing has shot up by 63 per cent to $1.03 a dozen.

That has narrowed the gap between the prices for processing and table-market eggs and, because Canada’s marketing boards cover that price gap for eggs, they’re not having to spend as much money.

The national supply-management marketing board system covers the price gap so Canadian egg processors can hold the Canadian market against competition from U.S. processors.

The two largest processors in Canada are either outright or partially owned by Burnbrae Farms Ltd. and L.H. Gray & Son Ltd. They are also own egg-grading operations in Ontario that hold more than 90 per cent of  the market and are the province’s two largest egg producers.

Avian influenza has taken out three large egg farms in Iowa that accounted for 25 per cent of the state’s egg production.

Retail egg price increases have been much less – 17 per cent in supermarkets in Des Moines, Iowa.

Prices for whole, skinless, boneless chicken breasts have increased by 10 per cent.

The turkey industry says that despite heavy losses in Minnesota, it expects there will be enough turkeys at Thanksgiving.