- Egg prices rose to record highs in December. A dozen large Grade A eggs had more than doubled in price during 2022, on average.
- A historic outbreak of bird flu in the U.S. disrupted egg production and supply, economists said.
- Wholesale egg prices have fallen by more than 50% since December, according to Urner Barry data.
- Retail egg prices may soon follow, but it’s not a sure thing.
Wholesale egg prices have cratered in recent weeks from record highs, meaning consumers may soon see relief at the grocery store.
But the dynamics of egg pricing from the wholesale to retail market, in addition to other factors, means that’s not a sure thing in the short term.
Prices fell to $2.61 per dozen eggs on Monday — a 52% decrease from the peak of around $5.43 on Dec. 19 and a 47% decrease from the beginning of 2023, according to Urner Barry, a market research firm that specializes in the wholesale food industry. Its Midwest Large White Egg price benchmark is a widely cited barometer in the egg industry.
“Prices have collapsed,” said Angel Rubio, senior analyst at Urner Barry. “That’s a big, big adjustment downward.”
Historic bird flu outbreak led to soaring egg prices
In a year characterized by historically high inflation, egg prices were a standout in 2022, rising faster than almost all other consumer items.
Average retail prices increased nearly 60% in 2022, according to the consumer price index.
In December, a dozen large Grade A eggs cost consumers $4.25 on average, more than double the $1.79 a year earlier, according to monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
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The deadliest outbreak of bird flu in history hit the U.S. in 2022, killing millions of birds and significantly disrupting egg supply, according to food economists.
The disease, which is contagious and lethal, affects many types of birds, including egg-laying hens. Cases typically fade by summer, but that didn’t happen in 2022; new outbreaks coincided with peak demand around the winter holiday season…
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE… (cnbc.com)
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