Global bird flu outbreak sent egg prices surging, chicken prices may be next

Updated Feb 16, 2023
Egg prices have soared thanks to the worst-ever global bird flu outbreak that’s ravaged poultry and hen flocks in Europe and US. Now, the disease is showing early signs of spreading in South America, putting global chicken supplies into bigger danger. Cases have been popping up in countries like Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. Just this week in Argentina, the virus was detected in a wild bird. And more alarmingly, on Wednesday Uruguay reported its first case of avian influenza.
(Feb 16): That’s a problem because it shows that bird flu is rapidly getting closer to Brazil, the world’s biggest chicken exporter. While Brazil is still flu free, a large outbreak in the country would likely have devastating consequences on global meat supplies. Even as food inflation has tamed in recent months, egg prices have bucked the trend because of bird flu. Chicken could follow suit if flu impacts poultry flocks in Brazil, the world’s second-biggest producer, trailing the US. Exports from the South American nation have jumped to records as the country filled the supply gap left by other producers that were hit by the flu. The Uruguayan incident is the closest to Brazil that’s been reported so far, according to Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro. “Brazil hasn’t reported any cases so far, but the latest episode, which is 180 kilometres far from its border with Uruguay, is increasing our vigilance,” Favaro said Wednesday. The nation is stepping up monitoring ...
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