Egg prices in the United States have been rising for several months due to a deadly avian flu outbreak that devastated the egg-laying hen population and caused feed and fuel prices to soar. This led to significant profits for egg producers like Cal Main Foods. However, as egg supplies return to normal and demand declines, wholesale prices have started to drop.
As of last week, wholesale prices for midwestern large eggs were just $0.94 per dozen, a significant drop from $5.46 per carton six months ago, according to independent price reporting agency Arner Barry. Despite this, retail prices for eggs remain high, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 1.5% price drop from March to April.
Demand for eggs typically peaks in winter and declines in late spring, and experts predict that demand is unlikely to pick up again until after Easter and Mother’s Day. However, retailers may be cautious about lowering egg prices too quickly, as they do not want to disrupt the market.
The American Egg Board, which finances egg demand in the US, notes that wholesale prices are driven by market forces and not egg farmers. While wholesale prices have dropped significantly, it may take a while for retail prices to follow suit due to grocers’ desire to avoid volatility in pricing.