While much of the western world has problems with panic buying of toilet paper due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), it seems Thailand has panic buying of eggs.
According to the Thai Ministry of Commerce, there is currently an increase in the price of eggs in Thailand due to both panic buying and price gouging by certain egg sellers.
This has led to the Ministry of Commerce announcing, if profiteering is discovered by anyone selling eggs in Thailand, legal measures will be used against them.
This could be as severe as a seven year jail term or a fine of up to 140,000 baht.
Some of the panic buying of eggs in Thailand over the last 10 days is thought to be directly related to people misunderstanding the government’s emergency decree, which was announced on Wednesday, and so stockpiling eggs they will need for a month.
Apparently, some Thais mistakenly believed the strict emergency decree meant they would not be able to leave their homes during the more than month-long order to stay at home and ban on travelling to home provinces.
They did not realize, even though they were told to stay home, they were still allowed to leave to shop for food, to buy medication and to deal with banking needs.
According to the Bangkok Post, Manote Chuthapthim who is President of the Thai Layer Chickens Association, says the increase in the price of eggs in Thailand has not been instituted by the farmers themselves, as they are still selling eggs at 2.80 baht per piece.
He is blaming both middlemen and individual shopkeepers, who he says may have increased the price of eggs in order to take advantage of the higher demand.
Of course, in times of stress and uncertainty, people do panic and, in every country, that panic tends to be different in how it is played out.
In Thailand, where eggs are used for both typical dishes like omelettes and fried eggs, and Thai-style dishes like minced pork with basil and rice (Pad Gaprao) and shrimp and chicken fried rice (Khao Pad Goong and Kha Pad Gai), eggs are precious commodities.
As the Ministry of Commerce has explained, however, there is no need to panic buy eggs as the daily output of eggs is as stable as it has ever been. It will also remain that way throughout the length of the coronavirus emergency decree.
In other words, buy the same number of eggs you have always bought and do not buy them from sellers that are attempting to price gouge you. Let the authorities deal with them instead.
And, of course, if you already have eggs in your kitchen, why not use some of them to make Hot Thai Kitchen’s traditional Thai Omelette recipe?
I make an omelette from her recipe often and so can vouch for it being delicious.