Wholesale Eggs Prices Have Shown A Notable Improvement

CORRECTION 2/8/23: A previous version of this article stated grocery stores will likely raise egg prices to make up for lost revenue while the cost of wholesale eggs was high. Grocery chains are not expected to increase their egg prices.

Forget the priceless Faberge eggs — these days, regular eggs have mind-boggling price tags. On Dec. 19th, 2022, the price for a dozen large eggs peaked at roughly $5.43, more than double 2022's starting egg prices. As CNBC reports, this drastic egg price tag uptick has much to do with a devastating avian flu outbreak. According to the CDC, nearly 58 million birds have been affected by this pandemic to date, with 38 million egg-laying hens included in those numbers.

Unfortunately, recouping this egg supply will take some time. Another CNBC report writes that it can take months for farmers to rebuild the egg-laying population, meaning that prices were expected to linger in the stratosphere until these flocks are built back up. In the meantime, any further avian flu outbreak can topple this delicate house of cards just as quickly as it did the first time.

But hark, there's good news! If you've been feeling the pinch from the elevated egg prices, there's some relief on the horizon.

Collapsed prices mean buyer relief

As of February 2023, egg prices have dropped an average of $2.61, and there are hopes that the prices will continue on a downward trend. A recent USDA report notes that this current dip in cost is due to a decrease in consumer demand, as shoppers have opted to do without rather than spring for astronomical prices. But other factors have industry professionals betting on a low-cost future. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report claiming that no new avian flu outbreaks have affected the burgeoning egg-laying population, allowing for crucial growth. Angel Rubio, a senior analyst at market research firm Urner Barry, claims this trend is an example of egg prices collapsing (via CNBC), predicting that prices will continue to drop.

But Rubio is quick to temper this positive outlook. In April, a surge in egg demand is expected to accommodate Easter's egg-decorating frenzy, which may hike up prices again. In addition, CNBC talked to Brian Moscogiuri, a strategist at Eggs Unlimited, who warned that some grocery stores have been fixing egg prices to keep customers happy and will likely need to hold them at slightly elevated levels for a bit longer to compensate. Still, there's plenty to be optimistic about the market trends for eggs. 

For now, take advantage of the egg price dip, and keep your fingers crossed that things continue looking up — or down, as the case may be.