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Eggs. Part III: a Magic Crack-free Floor Landing

April 17, 2023Foods

Egg prices fell 11% in March after falling 7% in February, according to the March 2023 inflation report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday. Wholesale prices have plummeted in recent weeks, meaning consumers may get some extra comfort. For example, regional prices in Michigan have been down about 42 cents for jumbo eggs, 0.5-44 cents for extra-large, 3–47 cents for large, 8–47 cents for medium and 47 cents for small, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued Monday, April 3.

Egg prices declined amid a broad pullback in grocery prices last month. The “food at home price index” declined by 0.3% in March, posting the first decrease since September 2020, according to the U.S. BLS. Consumer price index – March 2023.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week, that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1% in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.4% in February. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 5.0% before seasonal adjustment. The food at home index decreased 0.3% over the course of the month, reversing its 0.3% rise in February. This marks the index’s the first decline since September 2020.

As a result, egg supplies are apparently recovering from a historic outbreak of deadly bird flu in 2022. But consumer demand remains relatively weak. The decline was largely due to a rebound in egg production and weak consumer demand.

Over the past year, the price of eggs has risen faster than the price of almost any other consumer good or service. Consumers paid an average of $4.21 for a dozen large, Grade A eggs in February, according to the latest federal data. That's more than double the price in February 2022, when a dozen eggs cost $2, but 61 cents below the all-time high of $4.82 in January 2023.

According to CNBC, The U.S. suffered its deadliest outbreak of bird flu in history in 2022. The disease — which is highly contagious and lethal among birds — killed tens of millions of egg-laying hens. There hasn’t been a confirmed case at commercial egg farms since December, and supply has rebounded.

Outline and Forecast

While egg prices still remain higher than usual at the grocery stores, even though there's been a dip since the beginning of 2023, the long-term outlook remains uncertain.  If the recent U.S. CPI numbers would prove to have encountered just one lucky month out of sequence, that, most likely, it will still be eggs that lead the consumer price pain story. When prices will drop l remains to be seen. So far, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the food index for eggs fell 6.7% in February.

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