Eggs Are Really Expensive Right Now. Here’s What We Know

“Eggflation” explained.

Grocery Store Eggs

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It’s the topic on everybody’s lips: the price of eggs

You and your wallet have probably experienced “eggflation” at some point over the past few months. In some states, the price of eggs has risen more than 64% over the last year, with the average price for a grade-A dozen jumping from $1.82 to almost $3.60 from December 2021 to December 2023. If you think you’re suffering in the South, shoppers in California were paying an average of $7.37 for a dozen Grade A large eggs over the holidays.

So, why are eggs so expensive right now?

As The Washington Post explains, the egg industry is suffering on two fronts. Lingering supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have been compounded by a “historic” outbreak of avian influenza (HPAI) that has wiped out more than 44 million egg-laying hens since February. 

“The flu is the most important factor affecting egg prices,” Maro Ibarburu, a business analyst at the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University, told the Post. “This outbreak, in terms of egg-laying hens, we lost 10 million more egg-laying hens than the last outbreak in 2015.”

He said prices depend on how well the industry manages the avian flu outbreak.

“We need to see if more birds are affected by influenza,” Ibarburu explained. “In the event we get the outbreak under control, it will be better every month.”

In the meantime, prices aren’t expected to return to normal anytime soon. While experts believe that the peak has passed, you should prepare to pay more for grocery store eggs for a while.

And then there’s the other inflation. As Fast Company reports, the costs of bird seed, fuel, and energy are all also increasing, contributing to higher prices.

Speaking with CNBC,  Brian Moscogiuri, a global trade strategist at Eggs Unlimited, called the situation “unprecedented.”

“It’s a supply disruption, ‘act of God’ type stuff,” he said. “It’s kind of happenstance that inflation is going on [more broadly] during the same period.”

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