When Will Egg Prices Go Down?

When will egg prices go down? The cost of eggs is just uncontrollably high. The scarcity of eggs has undoubtedly been the most talked-about food issue of the year. Many people are still perplexed about the scarcity months after having to deal with record-high egg prices, and their top worry is “When will it end?!”

Thankfully, there seems to be movement in the works even though egg prices won’t likely drop significantly overnight.

The US Department of Agriculture says that the average cost of a dozen eggs has decreased by more than 40% since December, according to Axios. 

Eggs are still significantly more expensive than they were two years ago, even with that welcome decline.

There’s more good news concerning egg prices elsewhere. Sam Krouse, co-CEO of MPS Egg Farms in North Manchester, Indiana, told Inside Indiana Business that he believes relief will arrive in a few weeks.

Why Egg Prices Jumped and then Fell

In 2022, a year of high inflation for a lot of consumer goods and services, egg prices stood out.

A catastrophic bird flu outbreak in the United States that killed millions of egg-laying chickens severely curtailed the supply of eggs. 

The fact that the demand for eggs usually surges during the winter holidays made the impact of that supply reduction even more severe. There’s been a change in direction.


Will Egg Prices Decline in the Grocery Store?

Although wholesale costs are falling, this does not mean that consumers will receive a better deal. The price of eggs at retail has been falling, albeit more slowly.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that adjusted for seasonal variations, egg prices declined 1.5% from March to April.

Wholesale prices are more erratic than retail prices. This is due to the fact that supermarkets and grocery stores determine retail egg pricing and do not want abrupt fluctuations to scare off customers. Thus, food store prices don’t always reflect wholesale trends.

Why is there an Egg Shortage?

Due to the ongoing avian flu outbreak, millions of egg-laying chickens have died, resulting in a shortage of eggs. As of September 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over 58 million birds had perished in the United States. 

Since the bird flu outbreak in 2014 and 2015—dubbed “the largest poultry health disaster in U.S. history” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—the poultry sector has suffered the most.

The USDA reported that during the roughly six months that the outbreak was at its deadliest, an estimated 50 million birds were killed.

In the meantime, it’s thought that the current outbreak began in January 2022 and is still going strong today. 

NPR notes that although many birds are passing away in the wild, “depopulation,” a euphemism for killing chickens or other domestic flocks to stop the flu’s spread, is responsible for the great bulk of recorded bird flu deaths. 

The H5N1 virus is extremely deadly and contagious: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that it has a 90% to 100% fatality rate among chickens, with most deaths occurring 48 hours after initial infection.

Why are Egg Prices So High?

A worldwide outbreak of H5N1, a highly contagious and deadly strain of avian influenza, sometimes known as bird flu, is what caused eggs to become so pricey. 

The greatest bird flu outbreak in American history began in early 2022 and has since spread throughout the country. 

In other words, while demand for eggs is unchanged, the outbreak reduced supply. Naturally, that will drive up costs.  

Even if the avian flu disappeared today, egg prices wouldn’t suddenly go back to normal. The cost of labor, transportation, and chicken feed—all of which have increased due to inflation—would keep eggs from becoming inexpensive. While they are on the decline, egg costs are still below their pre-pandemic levels.


What Do Lower Food Prices Mean for Consumers?

Something must descend from above. Food costs can rise quickly, according to economists, but it takes time for reduced prices to reach stores. For consumers, the lowering of egg costs is encouraging.

Bottom Line

A dozen eggs cost an average of about $5 at its peak, which is more than twice as much as the $1.92 average that was noted in January 2022. 

According to a recent study from the US Department of Agriculture, wholesale egg prices have decreased to an average of $1 to $1.40 in different parts of the nation. 

A number of grocery store executives recently informed the Wall Street Journal that the average price of a dozen eggs in the US should be less than $2.

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