Wholesale egg prices tumble as egg supplies recover

Line chart showing weeklly egg inventories and wholesale prices between January 2022 and May 2023.

Wholesale egg prices reached record highs in 2022 after avian flu resulted in significant reductions in egg-laying flocks. Avian flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza, is a disease that spreads rapidly in birds and poultry and is often lethal. Cumulative losses attributable to the disease amounted to more than 43 million egg-laying hens. At the height of the disease, in the last weeks of December 2022, weekly egg inventories were 29 percent lower than at the beginning of the year, and prices reached a high of $5.37 per dozen. With no new outbreaks reported in 2023, the size of the egg-laying flock has gradually increased since late 2022, and egg inventories have been steadily recovering. In turn, wholesale prices have fallen sharply, reaching $0.89 per dozen in the first week of May 2023 after a seasonal increase in the weeks leading up to Easter. As of the week ending June 30, 2023, egg inventories were about 24 percent higher than the lowest 2022 values. During the same week, the average price was $1.23 per dozen, about 77 percent lower than the highest average weekly price in 2022. During the summer months, demand for eggs tends to level off as people bake less often. As a result, minimal fluctuation in wholesale egg prices is expected during this period. This chart is drawn from the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, June 2023. See also the ERS Chart of Note, Avian influenza outbreaks reduced egg production, driving prices to record highs in 2022, published in January 2023.

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