Cracking Down: A look at fluctuating egg prices this year

Egg prices have been on a roller coaster this year, soaring sky-high and falling back down to Earth in just a few months.

In the world of commodities, few items are as universally consumed and versatile as eggs. Whether fried, scrambled, or baked into a sumptuous cake, eggs are a staple of diets worldwide. Egg prices have taken consumers on a roller coaster ride this year—a phenomenon caused by the rampant spread of High-Path Avian Flu (HPAI) last year among egg-laying chickens that stalled the entire poultry industry, grabbing headlines and leaving both consumers and producers on edge.

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics’s Food Inflation Report for August did deliver some harsh blows in terms of consumer inflation, it did provide a glimmer of good news when it comes to eggs. The data reveals that egg prices are down, with some regions experiencing double-digit decreases. On average, egg prices fell 2.5 percent since July, and retail prices are down 18 percent compared to the same time last year.

USDA economist Matt MacLachlan sheds light on the situation, explaining that last year’s record-setting HPAI outbreak put significant strain on commercial egg layers. Fortunately, there have been no such cases this year at these facilities. Currently, egg production is running at normal levels with no breaks in the supply chain.

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