Japan’s shell egg export to Hong Kong soaring at fastest pace for superior freshness and safety

TOKYO, Sep. 13 ― Japan’s export of shell eggs to Hong Kong is growing at the fastest pace ever in 2017, as an increasing number of consumers in Hong Kong believes that eggs from Japan are safe and fresh and it’s ok to eat them soft-boiled or near raw.

This summer, egg producers in South Korea, some European countries, and Hong Kong were found to have used an insecticide banned from the use in raising chickens, and the news has been giving a boost to the Japanese egg export.

Currently, Japan can export eggs produced domestically to Hong Kong and Singapore, and more than 90% of the eggs shipped overseas now goes to Hong Kong. During the seven months from January to July 2017, the export of shell eggs from Japan to Hong Kong rose 10% to 500 million yen. The highest annual sales record so far was 900 million yen in 2016, but this record is likely to be broken this year.

Eggs produced in Japan can be served as half–boiled or slow-cooked onsen (hot spring) eggs. An increasing number of people from Hong Kong visit Japan and learn how Japanese eat eggs near raw. In Hong Kong, you’ll see more eggs from the U.S. sold at a cheaper price than Japanese eggs. However, it takes longer for US exporters to ship them across the ocean, and naturally, it’s harder for them to keep the eggs as fresh as those coming from Japan.

Eggs from Japan are very safe and receiving increased recognition, according to JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) Hong Kong.

In mid-August, some farms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and some other EU countries, as well as South Korea, were found to have used an insecticide banned from the use in the production of food for human consumption. The news will continuously serve as a spur to Japan’s egg export in the future. A total of 45 countries and regions are known to have received the eggs and egg products contaminated by the insecticide, and Hong Kong government currently prohibits the sale of the eggs from the affected countries.
“It’s the time for Japan to appeal how safe our eggs are,” a spokesperson from Japan Poultry Association said.

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