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Mexico facing an egg shortage due to bird flu

An egg shortage and the consequent hoarding of the staple have caused prices to soar in recent weeks.

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An egg shortage in Mexico has caused the government to suspend egg import tariffs. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Getting an omelette in Mexico these days has never been more difficult.

An egg shortage and the consequent hoarding of the staple have caused prices to soar in recent weeks.

The crisis is made worse by the fact that Mexicans are voracious egg-eaters - per capita, the biggest consumers in the world.

The dearth of eggs in the country came after the slaughter of 11 million chickens this summer to contain an outbreak of the bird flu, said Marketplace.

The mass killing doubled the cost of eggs, reported the Associated Press, to 40 pesos ($3) for just over a dozen.

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The shortage has forced the Mexican government to suspend egg import tariffs to reduce prices.

The US has begun exporting eggs to Mexico this week, said the Irish Examiner.

Other measures have included distributing eggs into poorer districts of Mexico and a delivery of three million hens to farms whose stocks were affected by the flu outbreak.

In all, the Mexican government has promised $227 million in emergency funding to boost the cheap protein relied on by so many Mexicans.

‘‘Eggs, as you know, are one of Mexicans’ most important foods and make up a core part of their diet, especially in the poorest regions of the country,’’ said President Felipe Calderon on Friday, reported the Associated Press.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/mexico/120825/mexico-facing-egg-shortage-due-bird-flu