Happy Easter! Egg prices are dropping—just in time for our annual, odd-when-you-think-about-it tradition of dyeing eggs and hiding them from children on Jesus's behalf.
Last year, egg prices nearly cracked the $3.00-per-dozen barrier, exceeding the price of chicken and culminating in supermarket egg rationing and concern in gentrified areas that the non-alcoholic portion of brunch might get a few cents more expensive.
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The reason for the surge in egg prices was a massive bird flu outbreak spanning 15 states. Since the USDA's approach to managing an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N2 virus is to euthanize affected birds, over 35 million chickens and turkeys had to be slaughtered last year. With that many laying birds gone, the U.S. became increasingly reliant on imported eggs from Canada and the Netherlands, and prices shot up, forcing fast food chains to change their breakfast menus.
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"Prices soared in the latter half of last year, but are working their way back down as increasing production has started to catch up with demand, which has moderated prices somewhat," John Anderson, deputy chief economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a statement.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, egg prices dropped to $2.27 per dozen last month. While that's an 8 percent increase from last year (and a 13 percent increase from the year before), egg prices are expected to continue falling.
"Barring any further incidents, we expect egg supply and pricing to return to their previous consistency," executive vice president of the American Egg Board John Howeth told Nation's Restaurant News this past winter.