Eggs sales double over Easter in Hungary, producers still worried

Eggs sales double over Easter in Hungary, producers still worried Budapest - Demand for eggs is set to outstrip supply in Hungary as millions are being bought in the run up to Easter, a local financial paper reported on Tuesday.

The Hungarian Poultry Produce Council estimates that around 100 million eggs per week - or ten for every Hungarian - will be bought in the run up to Easter.

This is roughly double the normal level of consumption, already among the highest in the world at around 300 eggs per Hungarian per year.

Hungarians still prefer hen's eggs to factory-made chocolate Easter eggs.

As in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, they are hand painted with colourful and often amazingly intricate designs.

However, it is not all good news for the Hungarian egg trade.

"This year domestic producers can barely meet demand, what with several plants having closed recently and many producers giving up," said council secretary Peter Foldi.

Foldi told the business daily Napi Gazdasag that he expects many more Hungarian producers to quit in coming months amid pressure from cheap imports, especially from Poland.

Furthermore, the European Union's "Laying Hen Directive" must be implemented in all member states by 2012, outlawing factory farms where thousands of chickens are kept in batteries of tiny cages. (dpa)