Americans to pay up for organic eggs after trade spat with India

Bloomberg September 15 | Updated on September 15, 2021

FILE PHOTO: An employee inspects an egg in an incubator at an hatchery in Mangaon, Mumbai   -  REUTERS

Along with the trade tensions, pandemic-related shipping disruptions are contributing to the price spike

Americans could soon be paying more for organic eggs and it’s largely because of a trade spat the US is having with India.

The US, which relies on the South Asian nation for more than 40 per cent of its organic soy meal used to feed chickens, is investigating claims that India is unfairly dumping and subsidising the product and harming American companies.

The outcome is likely “significant tariffs,” according to Ryan Koory, director of economics for Mercaris, which tracks organic markets. That’s spooking merchandisers, who are hoarding soy meal as a response, which is contributing to tight supplies and a surge in prices.

Consumers could see higher prices for organic eggs at a time when conventional eggs are also rising on increased retail demand. Soaring soy meal could also result in pricier organic meat and even dairy, adding to food inflation that’s become rampant across the globe since the pandemic began.

Also read: At 5.3%, retail inflation softens further in Aug on cheaper food

John Brunnquell, head of Egg Innovations, one of the biggest US producers of free-range eggs, has managed to find meal for his more than one million birds, but still faces prices of $1,700 a tonne, more than double a year ago.

Organic soybeans for feed in the US reached $29.92 a bushel Friday, up 47 per cent from a year ago. Along with the trade tensions, pandemic-related shipping disruptions are contributing to the price spike.

Brunnquell estimates that the average industry cost to produce a dozen organic eggs went up 15 cents to 20 cents based on higher feed prices alone. “We are seeing all of our costs go up, packaging, cartons, feed, freight labor,” Brunnquell said.

Published on September 15, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

You May Also Like