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USA: Prices for eggs are rising sharply – smuggling is flourishing

USA: Prices for eggs are rising sharply – smuggling is flourishing

The drastically increased prices for eggs are causing a phenomenon in the USA: in the border area with Mexico, smuggling with them is increasing by leaps and bounds.

Going to the supermarket in the USA is currently a sobering experience for some customers. Because those who have eggs on their shopping list are currently not getting any or have to dig deep into their pockets for them. A dozen eggs of grade A, the standard measurement in the American egg index, and size L had to be paid an average of $4.25 (around €3.90) in the USA in December, and in some regions of the country it was even just under eight dollars. That’s according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. In December 2021, the average price of a dozen eggs nationwide was $1.79.

There are several reasons why prices have risen so dramatically. According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), an outbreak of bird flu has killed 43 million laying hens nationwide since February 2022. If you include the animals that are kept privately, the number is even 57 million. In Iowa alone, the grain state of the USA, almost 16 million animals have died since last year. An improvement in the situation is not in sight, in the past two months the number of bird flu cases has risen sharply again. But inflation-driven costs for farmers and the high demand for eggs in winter have also caused prices to skyrocket recently. Prices for other groceries have also risen significantly in the USA in the past year, as can be seen from the .

USA: Significantly more confiscated eggs at the borders

Meanwhile, the costs lead to a whole new type of contraband in the border region. Between October and December last year alone, the number of confiscated eggs and products containing eggs at the border rose by 108 percent, reports “”. Because in Mexico the prices are significantly lower, according to “BBC” they are in Tijuana at an average of three dollars per dozen.

Jennifer De La O, director of border patrols in the San Diego area, also tweeted Wednesday that “an increasing number of eggs have been confiscated at the borders.” However, raw eggs are not allowed into the United States from Mexico because of bird flu and Newcastle disease, another highly contagious viral disease. The “” reports, citing the border newspaper “Border Report”, that there are penalties of up to $ 10,000 for smuggling eggs – but this is mainly for commercial smuggling. Anyone who fails to declare eggs purchased as an individual will be fined $300. However, honesty pays off at the US border: Anyone who declares their purchase when entering the USA does not have to pay a fine – but the eggs will still be destroyed.

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As new as egg smuggling is to the customs officers, similar incidents keep happening. In October, 220 kilos of sausage were confiscated from a pick-up truck in El Paso, Texas, followed shortly afterwards by 130 kilos of cheese. Because both were not declared upon entry, the owners had to pay a $1,000 fine each.

Source: Stern

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