Bird flu-plagued South Korea agrees to buy US eggs

South Korea is suffering from a shortage of eggs due to bird flu and has finalized agreements to accept imported fresh eggs from United States.

South Korea’s government says about 26 million chickens have been killed, including one-third of the country’s egg-laying hens, since the H5N6 strain of avian influenza first surfaced in November. It’s the nation’s worst outbreak.

The export is an opportunity for U.S. producers to alleviate a surplus of eggs that developed when they restored egg-laying flocks after the H5N2 strain outbreak in 2015 that killed 49 million turkeys and chickens in 15 states.

While the U.S. remains free of bird flu in commercial poultry production, the disease is a problem in Asia, Europe and elsewhere. Birds have died in Bulgaria, China, Iran, Japan, Nigeria and Taiwan.