Egg panic that was unleashed last week in Estonia emptied some stores of eggs and made supermarket chains impose restrictions on how many eggs can be bought by one customer, LETA/Õhtuleht Online writes.
At the beginning of this years, a EU directive came in force that states that a hen in a poultry farm must have at least 750 square centimetres of space. The requirement a reduced egg production in all of Europe and raised producer price of eggs.
In Estonia the egg panic peaked last week when several stores literally sold all eggs. The Selver supermarket chain spokeswoman Annika Vilu said that the reason was high gap between the demand for eggs and offer. "Hens lay fewer eggs in spring, as natural, while demand has surged," she said in national radio.
Vilu said that the egg panic was caused partly by the media that claimed that eggs would run out and now customers who would otherwise buy one box of eggs, buy several.
Prisma Peremarket spokeswoman Kadri Lainas said that at the weekend some of their chain's supermarkets could have been completely out of eggs. "For example last Thursday two times more eggs were bought from us than usual," she said.
Small entrepreneurs who already earlier had problems getting eggs from wholesale suppliers as those preferred large clients, played a part here. Several cafe operators started buying eggs from supermarkets. Thus Prisma enforced a sales restriction: three boxes of eggs per customer. The Rimi supermarket chain allows 5 boxes of eggs per customer.
Selver has not enforced sales restrictions but Vilu said that a Selver store in Narva had to turn down an entrepreneur who wished to buy all the eggs in the store.
Both Vilu and Laiunas said that hopefully the egg deficit will not last long. Lainas said that Tallegg and Viru Muna have promised to supply more eggs to Prisma and the Easter eggs ordered before are starting to arrive too.
Vilu said also that by the end of April or beginning of May the egg panic should be forgotten and since many people have stored up on eggs, fall of demand can bring lower prices too.