Blame the avian flu outbreak in May for the soaring price of eggs. The worst avian flu in three decades hit this spring, affecting 47 million chickens and turkeys and causing egg production to plummet by 4 percent.
Doesn’t sound like much? Well, 4 percent is equal to 341 million dozen eggs. That’s enough to severely affect the market.
Over the past few months, consumers have seen egg prices skyrocket. From May to June, the price of a dozen eggs jumped by 76 percent nationwide, according to the Department of Labor.
In addition, the Department of Agriculture reports that a dozen eggs in New York currently costs from $2-4.50, which is up from $1.20 to start the year.
Meanwhile, in the Midwest, the increase is even more striking: a 135 percent increase from $1.19 to $2.80 per dozen.
A dozen eggs doesn’t cost $6. Yet. But market analysts warn that prices may continue to rise. Of particular concern is if the avian flu returns this fall, which some analysts think has a good chance of happening. BB&T Capital Markets Analyst Brett Hundley “would not be surprised” to see the flu return this fall with migrating birds.
The current shortage of eggs, the threat of the return of the avian flu and the predicted shortage of turkeys this year will make this fall tough on Thanksgiving enthusiasts, not to mention the common consumer. Egg rationing has begun, let’s hope it can be reversed.