April 4 - Supermarkets in Estonia have limited egg sales following a surge in Easter demand, while thrifty customers in the Czech Republic are crossing the border to Poland as they chase a cheaper dozen. Andrew Potter reports.
Unease in Estonia with Easter only a few days away. This supermarket is in the capital Tallin. The shelves holding eggs are largely empty, thanks to panic buying. (SOUNDBITE) (Estonian) COMMUNICATION MANAGER AT PRISMA SUPERMARKET, KADRI LAINAS, SAYING: "There have been cases in our shop when a person who came here wanted to buy a whole stand of eggs." As a result the supermarket is limiting customers to three boxes each. The demand has been fuelled by rising prices. Recent EU regulations have increased the standard required for keeping hens. Because of this, egg production in Europe has fallen, sending the price up. (SOUNDBITE) (Estonian) RESIDENT OF TALLINN, KRISTJAN HEIN, SAYING: "I will have to come ten times and buy three boxes at a time". (SOUNDBITE) (Estonian) RESIDENT OF TALLINN, ELLE NIINE, SAYING: "I got only two boxes in order to paint eggs. So I have enough for when I start painting." The price of eggs is also a problem for some in the Czech Republic, who are crossing the border to neighbouring Poland where markets offer a better deal. (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) CUSTOMER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC, EDWARD KLIMSA SAYING: "Our eggs are much more expensive, they cost over 3 crowns and in Poland they're only 2.20. For us it's cheaper and better." Beyond chocolate treats, these eggs are popular with Christian families at Easter, and are likely to find themselves on dining tables during the traditional Sunday feast. Andrew Potter, Reuters