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Wholesale egg prices tank after months of increases

Posted at 12:22 PM, Feb 14, 2023

Average wholesale egg prices have dropped considerably in the last six weeks, causing them to fall to their lowest levels in 10 months, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures.

According to USDA figures, the average wholesale cost of a dozen large eggs has dropped from a high of $5.38 on December 30 to a current average of $2.73 for a dozen.

The figures from the last week meant the wholesale price of eggs has dropped to its lowest level since April 2022.

The current price is still considerably higher than this time last year when the average cost hovered around $1.80 a dozen.

When consumers will start seeing relief at the grocery store remains to be seen. According to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price consumers pay for eggs has increased by 70.1% in the 12-month period ending in January. In the month of January alone, egg prices increased by 8.5%.

Egg prices have increased at seven times the rate of food inflation over the last year. Food prices are up 10.1% over the last year. Overall inflation is up 6.4%.

A 2022 outbreak of the avian flu has largely been responsible for the increase.

“Less birds available means higher prices for everyone. Including me because I'm dependent on the industrial system to provide me the birds. Whatever happens to them directly impacts me,” said Ben Grimes, the owner of Dawnbreaker Farms in North Carolina, in an e-mail.

Grimes owns a farm of pasture-raised animals including chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigs. He is dependent on the industrial system to provide birds via the hatchery system.