- Soaring enter prices and a hen flu outbreak have pushed up US egg costs to multi-year highs.
- The common price of a dozen eggs surged practically 60% last year to over $3.70 – and more than doubled in seven states.
- Here’s why eggs are so costly right now.
If you’ve got been to the retailers – or checked social media – currently, you will know that egg costs are hovering.
The common cost of a dozen eggs rose 59% last year, in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with costs more than doubling in West Virginia and 6 states in the higher Midwest. The cost shock was even more acute in the case of eggs labeled grade A, with costs leaping nearly 140%.
That surge has impressed waves of memes on Twitter in addition to retail-trading boards like Reddit’s Wall Street Bets, normally based mostly on the concept made-up “egg investors” beat benchmarks like the S&P 500, yields on 10-year US Treasury notes, or bitcoin in 2022.
There’s no such factor as tradeable egg futures, however the Consumer Price Index does embrace eggs – and a studying of the month-to-month inflation stories shows that the price of a dozen jumped to $3.73 in December from $2.34 on the end of 2021.
Farmers throughout the US have pinpointed two elements which can be fuelling the egg price disaster.
Spiraling inflation has squeezed their enter prices larger – they usually’ve needed to reply by elevating egg costs.
“This year, my feed cost has jumped 26%, my electric cost is up 30%, and now my cost of cartons is up 45%,” Ron Eichner, who owns Eichner’s Family Farm in Wexford, PA, told NPR last week. “You know, these are things that you have to escalate now into your retail product.”
Furthermore, demand for eggs is comparatively inelastic – which means shoppers are likely to abdomen price rises in the commodity, extensively used as a part of a balanced weight loss program, than they’d do with much less important gadgets comparable to cookies or pumpkin spice lattes.
But that is also true for merchandise like milk, bread, and cereal – none of which noticed price will increase on a scale much like that of eggs.
That’s as a result of the US is also contending with a vicious outbreak of hen flu, which is killing hens and lowering total egg provides.
At least 46 million birds have both died or been culled since early 2022 to keep away from further unfold of the virus, in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention – approaching the 51 million deaths recorded in the course of the worst-ever US outbreak in 2015.
“It’s mostly in the wild bird population and if you’re going to bring everything from air to people from the outside to the inside of your barns, you have a chance to spread infection,” Buckeye, AZ-based Hickman’s Family Farms president Glenn Hickman told Bloomberg’s “Odd Lots” podcast Monday.
“The spread of infection is so fast and so deadly that maybe one day you’ll have 10 dead chickens in a barn, the next day you’ll have 100, the next day you’ll have 1,000,” he added. “Within just a few days, the entire farm is involved in it.”
It’s the flu breakout that is brought on egg costs to spiral larger at a fair sooner fee than different farmed meals – inspiring retail buyers’ newest memes and squeezing buyers’ wallets throughout the US.
And with inflation nonetheless remaining elevated by historic requirements and hen flu fueling a steep drop-off in supply, it is unlikely that the egg price disaster will likely be over anytime quickly.
Read more: We’re in a world meals disaster that can wreak havoc on native economies and set off civil unrest