Although grocery prices rose slightly last month, eggs are finally becoming more affordable at the supermarket.
According to seasonally adjusted statistics issued Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, egg prices declined 6.7% in February compared to January. Grocery increased by 0.3% during that period, while menu items increased by 0.6%, resulting in overall food inflation of 0.4% in February.
Eggs Prices Decrease
Between January and February 2023, the average price of a dozen Grade A, big eggs in the United States fell by over 13%.
Consumer pricing appears to be following wholesale price trends. In January and February, wholesale egg prices, which grocery shops and other retailers pay to egg suppliers, plummeted.
Retail prices, however, are still up 55% year on year, according to CPI data — one of the highest percentage rises of any consumer commodity or service. Large Grade A eggs cost $1.93 per dozen on average at the start of 2022.
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Prices May Rise Again
According to analysts, the substantial increase in egg prices is mostly due to a condition known as highly pathogenic avian influenza — sometimes known as bird flu.
In birds, the sickness is infectious and fatal. In 2022, it killed a record amount of animals, especially egg-laying chickens.
In previous years, the virus usually vanished after the spring. It reappeared in the fall of last year, stifling egg production as the country entered the peak season for eggs around the winter holidays, according to specialists.
Experts predict that prices will climb again in the run-up to Easter, which falls in April, due to the holiday’s high demand. There is also a danger that avian flu will resurface in egg farms.
Broad inflationary forces are also keeping egg prices high. Higher corn and soybean prices, which make feeding hens more expensive, as well as labor and shipping costs, are among them.
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