January 30, 2023

Why egg prices are still going up

3 min read

New York
CNN Business

Many Grocery items have become expensive. this year. But nothing comes close to rising egg prices.

Unadjusted for seasonal swings, egg prices rose 49 percent year-over-year through November. According to the data From the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since earlier this year, a Deadly avian flu Declining flocks of chickens – esp Turkey and egg-laying hens. This is one of the reasons for the unbridled rise in prices. But the situation has worsened due to elevated feed. Energy costs For producers, besides High demand in supermarkets.

Experts believe the peak has passed, but until conditions improve, expect to pay more for eggs in the grocery store.

Avian flu has been a problem in the US for months now, but wholesale prices have been hitting records in recent weeks.

As of last week, “prices have been rising for nine consecutive weeks … setting new record highs on a daily basis since the week of Thanksgiving,” said Karen Rispoli, egg price current for Earnerberry, a food market. Presents the data.

On Friday, Midwest large eggs, the quality of eggs sold in their shells, rose to $5.46 a dozen, Rispoli said, citing Earnerberry data. This time last year, Urner Berry data shows, that price was about $1.70.

Eggs have become very expensive this year.

One reason for the increase? Not enough supply.

“There just hasn’t been enough production to support the incredibly strong retail demand this year,” Rispoli said. Supplies have been limited due to deadly bird flu.

The current outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza began in the United States around February and continued throughout the year. The last major outbreak of bird flu in the United States was in 2015. But it was there until June of that year, said Brian Ernst, lead economist for animal protein at CoBank.

“This year, we’ve continued to see herd populations throughout the year, and there’s an expectation that we’ll continue to see that through 2023,” he said, adding that he expects “we’re going to see tight supply.” The situation and environment of high prices is moving forward.

About 60 million birds According to the USDA, the disease has gone so far. Of those, about 43 million are egg-laying hens, according to USDA data provided by the American Egg Board, a farmer-funded group that markets eggs.

Still, farmers have been able to moderate the losses. “Our producers learned a very hard lesson from 2015. Some farmers have been able to repopulate their flocks, reducing the net impact on flock size and egg supply,” said American Egg Board CEO Emily Matz. As of early December, there were about 308 million chickens Laying eggs for consumption, approx 328 million in December 2021According to the USDA.

Supply squeezes aren’t the only thing driving up egg prices, Metz said. Higher fuel, feed and other producer costs are also driving up wholesale prices, he said. And then there is such a high demand for eggs, which increases at this time of year.

People buy more eggs around the holidays, when they cook more and cook more, and eat breakfast at home more often.

Ernst notes that these habits cause wholesale prices to rise in the winter. This has “brought about a very strong market condition.”

Demand for eggs has also been strong throughout the year.

Despite the price hike, egg sales fell just 2 percent on a unit basis at retail in the year to Dec. 4, according to data from market research firm IRI.

Shoppers are accepting higher prices at the grocery store. Back to the restaurant tour.. And although eggs have become more expensive, they still cost less than other proteins.

A deadly avian flu has killed hundreds of thousands of poultry this year.

As the peak of holiday demand passes, wholesale prices are expected to decline.

“Based on current trade values ​​and market conditions, it appears that the market has finally peaked,” said Rispoli. He said Friday’s wholesale prices were similar to Thursday’s, the first time since October that prices remained stable.

“Several suppliers have reported to us … that they are seeing a slowdown in their orders,” in the week leading up to Christmas, he added. By then, “most grocers have taken whatever inventory they will need for the holidays.”

KK Davey, president of thought leadership at IRI and NPD, said it could take another three to six months for retail prices to moderate, and even longer for prices to come down to last year’s levels.

“It may take some more time,” he said.

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