As inflation continues to put pressure on American wallets, one grocery item in particular has consumers worried: eggs. Interest in the cost of eggs has risen sharply in recent weeks, with Google searches reaching an all-time high in the first week of January 2023.
The prices of eggs have been particularly affected by rising costs, with a standard dozen of large white eggs at a Walmart location in Horseheads listed at $5.60 on January 9th. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average egg prices at the start of 2022 were around $1.80 per dozen, but a year later, prices have risen to an average of $5.40 or higher, with a steep increase in the last two months of the year.
One of the culprits behind the spike in egg prices is avian flu. The latest outbreak has led to the death of millions of egg-laying hens. In November 2022, officials in Nebraska reported that 1.8 million chickens had to be killed due to the outbreak. As of January 4th the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that over 57 million chickens have been slaughtered due to the virus. As a result, egg prices in November 2022 rose almost 50% compared to the same time the previous year, while prices for food at home only jumped 12%.
However, it is not all bad news. According to the USDA’s January 9th report, egg prices across the state of New York are down 15 cents for large and medium sizes. Furthermore, while egg production was down in August of 2022, the number of egg-laying chicks that hatched that month was up at least 10% compared to the same period in 2021, potentially bringing some balance to production, demand, and prices.
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected]