Egg Wholesale Prices Hit 37-year High in Tokyo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Eggs in plastic cartons are displayed at a store in Tokyo on Monday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Egg wholesale prices hit a 37-year high in the Tokyo area on Tuesday due to a series of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza at large-scale farms for egg-laying hens across Japan.

The standard wholesale price of eggs rose ¥15 from the previous day to ¥305 per kilogram, the highest level for January since 1986, egg seller JA.Z-Tamago Co. said.

The bird flu outbreaks led to supply shortages of eggs for businesses. Convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan Co. said on Tuesday that it has suspended sales of some egg items.

Egg wholesale prices are usually high every December. But the latest price has already topped ¥300, marked in late December 2022.

Seventy cases of bird flu outbreaks have been reported 25 of the country’s 47 prefectures this season. Some 12.35 million poultry, including over 11 million egg-laying hens, have been culled so far.

Rising feed costs and electricity bills due to higher grain prices and a weaker yen have also lifted egg wholesale prices.

Prices “will remain high for the time being” as the number of egg-laying hens has yet to recover from the culling, an egg producing industry official said.

Egg producers will continue to pay close attention to demand and price trends as the bird flu season ends around March annually.

Seven-Eleven Japan, a unit of Seven & i Holdings Co. , stopped sales of some 15 egg items, including a seasoned soft-boiled egg product.

The company reduced the amount of boiled eggs used in some 10 items, such as sandwich and salad products, and increased that of hams, vegetables and other ingredients for them. It will continue sales of raw eggs.