THE egg industry has shipped more than four million eggs to Taiwan since April following of weak demand in the Philippines, egg farmers said.

“For now, temporary ’yan, kasi nga ang baba ng demand dahil nga siguro sa bird flu. Kaya nga kahit mura, okay na rin para at least nababawasan ’yung supply (It’s temporary. Demand is low maybe because of bird flu. (Exports are) a good thing because they reduce supply,” Gregorio A. San Diego, Jr., chairman of the Philippine Egg Board Association, told reporters.

According to Mr. San Diego, exporters were able to obtain a price of about P5.60 each for medium or large egg. The current farmgate price for eggs is between P5 and P6.

He estimated that about 10 million chickens were culled last year due to avian influenza.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has identified six barangays across two separate regions with active cases as of April 28.

Dating from January 2022, bird flu cases have been recorded in 160 barangays.

“There is a global shortage of eggs, and our production has declined. But despite decreased production, consumption fell by more so we have a surplus,” he said.

In March, the Taiwan Council of Agriculture and the Executive Yuan decided to tap suppliers in the Philippines to meet the island’s egg requirement.

The BAI invited egg farms in a March 10 memorandum circular to submit accreditation documents to participate in the export trade.

Mr. San Diego called the system of accrediting exporters a “long process” involving various clearances.

Agriculture Spokesperson Kristine Y. Evangelista told reporters separately that the department is trying to help prospective exporters obtain the needed technical documents.

“I think this is the first time we are exporting. So, kung ano ’yung mga kailangan (Whatever is needed from the) BAI and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), like clearances and permits, we are (trying to help the) stakeholders,” she said.

“We are looking at the need to lower taxes and other incidentals when it comes to export, so that producers won’t need to drop their prices,” Ms. Evangelista added.

Mr. San Diego said of the export trade: “Hindi naman kikita sa export gaano pero malaking bagay na ’yon kaysa mabulukan ng itlog (The profits are small but they are better than holding on to rotten eggs).”

The prevailing price of medium-sized eggs was between and P6-P8.50 per piece in Metro Manila markets as of Thursday, according to Department of Agriculture price monitors. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera