While inflation may be slowing, egg prices appear to be rising. It has gotten so bad that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection felt the need to remind people that bringing eggs into the country from Mexico is against the law.
“There has been a large increase in the volume of prohibited food items, such as raw eggs and raw poultry meat, brought by travelers from Mexico. “We’d like to remind travelers that federal agricultural regulations remain in effect,” Jennifer De La O, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, said in a press release on Friday.
US Cracks Down Egg-Smuggling
Egg prices continue to rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent consumer price index report, egg prices increased 11.1% from November to December and 59.9% year over year, despite a 0.3% month-over-month increase.
In 2022, rising egg prices boosted shares of Cal-Maine Foods CALM +1.15% (CALM), a large egg producer—the stock rose 52%—but shares have fallen 19% since right before Christmas. This is likely due to investors selling their winners to buy 2022’s worst-performing stocks as 2023 begins, but it’s also due to the rally, which has some investors looking for better opportunities.
“The San Diego Field Office has recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports of entry,” De La O wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. “As a reminder, uncooked eggs from Mexico are not permitted into the United States. Failure to declare agricultural items can result in a $10,000 fine.”
Prices Of Eggs Continue To Rise
According to Customs and Border Protection, bringing uncooked eggs from Mexico into the US is illegal due to the risk of bird flu and Newcastle disease, a contagious virus that affects birds.
Most travelers bringing eggs have declared the eggs as they cross the border. “When that happens, the person can abandon the product with no repercussions,” Alcordo explained.
“As is customary, CBP agriculture specialists will collect and destroy the eggs (and other prohibited food/ag products).”
In a few cases, travelers failed to declare their eggs, which were discovered during the inspection. The eggs were seized in those cases, and the travelers were fined $300, according to Customs and Border Protection public affairs specialist Gerrelaine Alcordo.
When traveling, Alcordo stressed the importance of declaring all food and agricultural products.