The U.S. is facing a nationwide shortage of eggs, causing prices to skyrocket above $8 per case in some areas.
- The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics released its CPI report for the month of December on Thursday, showing a drop of 0.1%.
- As meat and other commodity prices increase, eggs have become a more common replacement household item to replace more expensive meat.
- Unfortunately, the demand for eggs is being exasperated by a spiking price shortage.
- According to CBS, egg prices have increased 267%, rising from $1.72 per carton in 2021 to $3.49 in 2022. And they continue to increase in recent weeks.
- California is seeing an average price of $6.72 per carton, and New York City is reporting prices above $8.79.
- Multiple regions are also reporting limited to no eggs availability on store shelves.
- The demand for baked holiday goods has decreased the available supply of eggs, and it is unlikely stocks will be replaced immediately.
Why It’s News
While commodities and groceries have been among the hardest hit by inflation in the past year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is not blaming the price spike on the consumer price index. The cause is attributed to the deaths of millions of egg-laying chickens due to Avarian Influenza, which has killed nearly 58 million birds in 47 states as of January 10, 2023.
The effect of the disease has trickled down over months, affecting the overall population of healthy egg-laying birds, lowering supplies, and setting up a months-long shortage that is only just beginning to hit the average American’s pockets.
“While consumers are quick to blame inflation or a Massachusetts law that protects chickens by mandating a certain type of coop—there’s a direct reason for the price hike. Avian Influenza swept through the chicken population in 2022, killing more than 43 million egg-laying hens. As the hen population has decreased, so have the number of available eggs for sale. This peaked before the holidays, when egg demand is at its highest for baking, and led to significant price jumps,” says CBS News.
As we previously reported, similar market conditions resulted in the price of watermelon increasing in Australia to above $34 in some stores in 2022.