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Why are Eggs still so pricey?

Egg costs increased by 49% in 2022, peaking during the holiday period.

By Erin Booke

According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, egg prices increased by 49% from 2022 to November, and costs are anticipated to stay high through the first quarter of 2023, according to CNN and CNBC. According to BLS statistics, the average cost of a dozen big, Grade A eggs will more than double to $3.59 in November 2022 from $1.72 in November 2021. “Prices have been escalating for nine consecutive weeks… setting new record highs on a daily basis since the week of Thanksgiving,” Karyn Rispoli, author of the Egg Price Current, told CNN.

Egg prices have risen since early 2022 as a result of the effect of avian flu, which reduced the supply of egg-laying chickens throughout the year. However, according to CNN, the situation has been worsened by higher electricity and feed costs, as well as high customer demand in the later part of the year due to holiday baking practices and consumers foregoing higher-cost proteins such as beef. Avian influenza, also known as avian flu, is caused by an influenza type A virus that can affect birds such as turkeys, chickens, ducks, and geese, among others, according to Sarah Bahari of the Dallas Morning News in September 2022. The extremely pathogenic virus frequently kills birds but rarely effects people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this year’s flu epidemic has impacted more than 57 million birds in 49 states. The illness has mainly affected “layers,” or chickens raised for eggs, rather than “broilers,” or chickens raised for meat, which explains why poultry costs have not been affected as severely, according to NPR. According to experts, elevated egg costs could last until the first quarter of 2023, but price constraints appear to be easing in tandem with seasonal demand. Any new cases of bird flu, however, could derail this pattern.

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