Egg prices have come down from their record highs earlier this year.
In the latest Consumer Price Index monthly retail price report for April, eggs were $3.27 per dozen, compared to $4.82 per dozen at the peak in January.
As for the wholesale market, eggs have declined to $0.84 per dozen during the week of May 20. Wholesale prices peaked at $5.38 per dozen back at the end of December. They have increased a bit in the last two weeks, hitting $1.18 per dozen for the week of June 3, but they remain much lower than the record highs.
Why are egg prices down?
A couple factors are contributing to the recent price decrease of eggs, says Texas A&M AgriLife Extension economist David Anderson.
Production is increasing, Anderson says. On May 1, the United States Department of Agriculture reported 317 million table egg laying chickens in the U.S. That was the most since March 2022. April table egg production was 7,713 million eggs (7.7 billion), which was 100 million more than April 2022.
Meanwhile, high prices earlier this year had consumers buying fewer eggs. The combination of increasing supply and lessening demand has caused prices to decline dramatically, according to Anderson.
When will egg prices get back to normal?
We are not down to pre-bird flu retail prices, which Anderson attributes to higher production costs.
“Costs are higher to get products from where they are produced to where consumers buy them,” Anderson says. “So, while prices are lower, it might be hard to get them that low.”
Prices got to $2.01 per dozen in April when the COVID pandemic hit, but they rapidly declined once things adjusted so by May they were $1.64, and by August 2020 they were $1.33.
It will be hard to get retail prices consistently as low as they were before the pandemic, Anderson said.
“The costs of producing and getting them to the grocery store shelf is higher,” he said. “But there is some room to see lower prices as retail prices reflect these much lower wholesale prices and as production costs like feed decline further. Egg production should continue to increase also.”
Egg production is getting back on track. More table egg laying chickens are being produced and maturing enough to start laying eggs, so production is increasing. Also, we are seeing very few incidences of bird flu so far this year, which is allowing production to increase because birds aren’t getting killed by the disease. Increasing bird numbers don’t have to offset other losses, meaning that we can grow total production faster, Anderson said.