The price of American hatching eggs increased

Quebec hatcheries are once again facing problems with the supply of hatching eggs from the United States. This situation already arose in 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when labor shortages reduced production in this country, so 20% of the eggs needed for production must come from Canada, a trade signed in 1989. Under the agreement. two countries.

“We thought the impact of this crisis had subsided, but new supply issues are emerging,” says Julie Boudreau, general director of Couvoirières du Québec.

According to him, there are now several cases of bird flu in commercially laid egg flocks in British Columbia which is partly responsible for the new shortage of eggs in the US market.

“(British Columbian producers) have lost 17 flocks from memory, so they won’t be able to produce (incubate eggs) for the domestic market,” she reports. To compensate for this shortfall of approximately 20 million eggs, a rebalancing of Canadian production has been initiated so that British Columbia can import a greater quantity of eggs from the United States to quickly meet its production needs. In return, the other provinces agreed to import slightly less, but produce more.

Yet this situation increased demand in the American market.

Maximize Domestic Production

Ghislain Laurier, president of the Quebec Hatching Egg Producers, admits that when faced with such a situation, solutions are limited. “It’s a challenge. When hatcheries tell us they’re having trouble getting supplies (in the United States), the only thing we can do is maximize our production, but it’s so easy It is not done from,” he laments.

Regarding the increase in the price of hatching eggs imported from the United States, it was the hatcheries that absorbed it in 2022-2023, Ms. Boudreau indicates. However, she could not say whether this would still be the case. She warns, “If there are not too many cases of avian flu, the market may recover, but if there are still a lot of cases, we will not have the option to increase (hatching egg prices). “

diseases worry

The main challenge hatching egg producers have faced over the past year has been diseases that can further complicate flock and production management. “We, a flock, have a year, so when a disease occurs, we have to live with it for a long time,” underlines Ghislain Laurier, president of the Federation of Quebec Hatching Egg Producers. The fact that most of the quotas for this production, around 70%, are held by large players in the industry also means that the herds are very large, which puts production at risk in the event of diseases such as avian flu. Mr. Lauer argued in an interview that this remains the region’s biggest concern. EarthA few days after the organization’s annual general meeting, which was held in Beloeil, Montérégie, on 4 April.

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