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Egg producer Ovostar grows exports in response to weak Ukrainian currency

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Ukrainian egg producer Ovostar Union managed to grow its egg production and exports in 2016, as part of a drive to gain foreign currency income as a defence against the weak local currency.

As of December 31, Ovostar's total flock increase by 16%, to 7.6m hens. The laying hen flock was up 22%, to 6.5m hens.

Egg production rose by 24% in 2016, to 1.479m eggs, with sales volumes up 22%.

Foreign currency sought

And Ovostar succeeded in its drive to increase egg exports, which rose by 34%, to 307m eggs.

At the start of 2016, Ovostar pledged to grow its exports, in response to the weakness of the Ukrainian currency.

Dry egg exports rose by 45%, to 1,320 tonnes, while the company began "systematically" exporting liquid egg products to the EU, leaving liquid egg exports at 2,161 tonnes.

Ovostar reported that the average selling price of shell eggs declined in 2016, to 1.348 hryvnia apiece, compared to 1.374 hryvnia in 2015.

Bird flu threat

But Ukrainian egg exports could be threatened if bird flu continues to spread there.

So far, the European Union has banned the import of poultry, but not eggs, from Ukraine, due to the detection of bird flu among back-yard chickens there.

Belarus has also banned in the import of Ukrainian poultry.

In addition, Honk Kong has banned the import of eggs from the effected region of Ukraine.

Ukraine's neighbour Hungry has requested European Union support for its farmers, after massive culls of waterfowl.

So far more than 40 countries have reported cases of bird flu since last November, with multiple strains of the virus detected, including those which can be carried by waterfowl and migrating wild birds.

The World Health Organisation on Monday called for governments to step up testing for the disease.

By William Clarke

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