The U.S. shipped its first shell eggs to South Korea on January 12, 2017, almost two months to the day from when High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was first detected in South Korea.  Efforts to stop this disease have resulted in the destruction of 30 million birds to date, creating an immediate need for South Korea to import eggs.  Egg prices there have risen more than 50% in a month, as a result of over 30% of the layers and over 50% of layer breeding stock being culled according to USDA FAS GAIN’s report dated January 13, 2017. 

This is the first time the S. Korean shell egg market has been open to the U.S., albeit under temporary but favorable measures.  Shell egg imports have a zero tariff rate quota under 35,000 metric tons, effective until the end of June 2017 and air freight for shells eggs will be partially subsidized by the S. Korean government at least in the short term. The GAIN’s report went on to mention that the 50% subsidy on air freight will make imported U.S. shell eggs more competitive in the short run, but in the future eggs would likely need to be shipped via ocean to remain price competitive.

To review the complete report, please click here.