: All the crazy reasons a dozen eggs now costs up to 38% more than last year


Why are eggs so expensive now? 

Grocery prices continued to soar in July despite slower inflation overall, and eggs were among the foods experiencing the biggest increases. The average price of a dozen large, Grade A eggs was $2.94 in July, up 38% from the same period last year at $1.64, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The price of eggs has been trending upward since the beginning of 2022, and egg experts said an avian influenza outbreak that has severely limited the supply of eggs was the leading cause of high prices.

The avian flu outbreak started almost six months ago and has cut the egg-laying industry’s production capacity by about 10%, said J.T. Dean, the president of Versova Management and Center Fresh Group, a major egg producer that manages multiple farms across four states, including Ohio and Iowa.

“Cage-free production has also added a layer of complexity to producers’ activities, pushing up costs.”

Most of the eggs in U.S. supermarkets come from domestic producers, but a majority of the organic feed is from abroad, and that means the price has been affected by global supply-chain disruptions due to the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, said Brian Earnest, lead protein industry analyst at rural economy credit provider CoBank. The disruptions made both the traditional feed sourced domestically and the organic one more expensive.

Although higher egg prices were mainly related to the tight supply of eggs caused by decreased flock size from the avian flu, other factors play a role too, such as the prices of feed-grade corn and soybeans reaching record highs. 

The U.S. is a net importer of organic products, Earnest said. And when it comes to organic oilseeds and grains, Russia and Ukraine were the second and third largest exporters to the U.S. in 2020, according to a Mercaris trader report

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