Egg prices continue to increase ahead of Easter

The bird flu and inflation may be part of the reasons why the cost of eggs is continuing to go up going into Easter and Passover this year.

The bird flu and inflation may be among the reasons why the cost of eggs is continuing to go up ahead of Easter and Passover this year.

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On average, Americans are paying about $2.99 for a dozen eggs, according to Federal Reserve data obtained by USA Today. That is down from the previous year when consumers paid $4.82 for a dozen. Though the price is lower this year, the cost has doubled in comparison to the average cost seen before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bird flu or avian flu contributed to the rise in egg prices. When an outbreak occurred in January 2023, the cost of eggs went up to $4.82 per dozen. It went down to $3.27 a dozen by Easter 2023, and then got even lower in August, according to USA Today. However, another outbreak occurred in November 2023 which caused prices to go up in the months after.

Bird flu outbreaks continued in December, affecting over 11 million birds, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, according to The Associated Press.

Emily Metz, president of the marketing organization the American Egg Board, told the AP that prices could eventually go down, but it could take some time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that prices are expected to drop by around 2.8% sometime this year.

“People really love eggs, and they notice when that price fluctuates,” Metz said, according to the AP. “Our farmers wish it wasn’t such a sharp up and down as well. It makes everything challenging.”

Eggs play a big role in both Easter and Passover, according to the AP, and both holidays could be impacted by the rising costs of eggs.

Other issues include inflation. The cost of chicken feed, for example, has gone up. Chicken feed accounts for up to 70% of a farmer’s costs, said Nan-Dirk Mulder, a senior global specialist with Dutch financial firm RaboBank’s RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness division, according to the AP. Weather conditions, COVID-19-related issues and the Ukraine War are also factors. The war in Ukraine increased the prices of crops including wheat.

Record prices on sugar and cocoa could also impact the cost of candy and chocolate ahead of the Easter holiday.

Cocoa prices have almost doubled since the start of 2024, according to the AP. The amount of sugar per pound has gone up around 8% this year.

Part of the reason for high cocoa prices is due to rising temperatures and weather conditions in West Africa, where more than 70% of the global cocoa supply comes from.

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