[Anchor Lead]Last year egg prices soared because scores of hens were culled due to avian influenza, but this time around the price of eggs is plummeting because of the contamination scandal, dealing a heavy blow to hen farms.[Pkg]A refrigerated warehouse is packed with thousands of egg trays.[Soundbite] "It's completely packed now."This contrasts sharply with the situation four months ago, when the warehouse was empty due to avian influenza. Since the insecticide contamination scandal broke out, egg shipments have come to a halt, while scores of eggs were returned back to farms. Signs saying that certain eggs are safe to eat are of little use.[Soundbite] Shin Jae-yong(Egg Wholesaler) : "These days I visit clients not to sell eggs but to receive returned ones. All returned eggs must be discarded. Just seeing eggs is frustrating."This man who runs an egg retail business delivers eggs to a nearby bakery, one of his clients.[Soundbite] "Your eggs have arrived."In addition to delivering eggs personally, he also lends a helping hand to the bakery just to retain his client.[Soundbite] Lee Won-seop(Egg Retailer) : "I want to help my clients as much as I can when they buy eggs from me."As few consumers are willing to buy eggs lately, supermarket chains are offering steep discounts on egg products. A tray of eggs costs 500-1000 won less now, because wholesale producer prices have fallen 24 percent in just ten days.[Soundbite] "Eat up and lay many eggs."Hen farms are struggling to stay afloat. This farm raising domestic chickens spends six million won a month on poultry feed, but only local regular customers come to buy its chickens these days. After soaring to record-high levels due to avian influenza, egg prices are now plunging due to the scandal over insecticide contamination.
TagsKBS News Today