Recently, many Chinese in the United States must have noticed that the price of eggs has suddenly continued to soar!The price of a box of eggs, which was originally about $5, suddenly increased to about $8 a box, and the public is facing an "egg crisis"!From the end of 2022, the price of eggs has been soaring, and experts say that the price increase of eggs may continue until the first quarter of 2023.
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Crazy Egg Price Rising Situation
Cost price change for a dozen large Grade A eggs. Screenshot via fred.stlouisfed.org
According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI: Consumer Price Index), for the whole year of 2022, theEgg prices have risen 49% in the past year, more than any other grocery category, and prices at this rate show no signs of slowing down in 2023.根据 CPI 显示，鸡蛋的平均价格在2022年11月份跃升了2.3%，在10月份上涨了10.1%。而比2021年上涨了49.1%，是这段时期涨价幅度最高的食品杂货。
如果以一打大型 A 级鸡蛋的成本来衡量，涨幅甚至更加严重，2022年11月的价格从10月的$1.72增加到$3.59。
Many catering companies are even more complaining. Due to inflation, the general merchants have raised the prices of various products and dishes. Facing this wave of "egg price crisis", some operators choose to hold on and adopt "appropriate reductions" The number of eggs in fried rice with eggs", "temporarily reducing production and using cakes with more eggs" to deal with it.
Merchants engaged in the dessert industry complained even more because they had to deal with eggs every day: "Now eggs are not only expensive, but they are often unavailable! It is really difficult to do business!"
The main reason for the increase in egg prices: bird flu
Screenshot via fred.stlouisfed.org
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the outbreak began in February last year, during which time the virus killed about 2 million birds.Including poultry such as turkeys and ducks, about 12 million birds will be affected by bird flu in 28, according to data as of Dec. 2022.
Economists say the price volatility is largely due to the deadliest outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history, which has killed millions of laying hens this year. “A lot of things have changed since 2020,” Lapp said, “but in the egg market, the latest surge is extraordinary.”
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Bird flu is relatively rare in the U.S., with the last outbreak affecting 2015 million birds in 5050, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Before that, bird flu hadn't been seen for at least 10 or 20 years, Lapp said.
Bird flu is "highly contagious". The virus is extremely lethal: It kills 48% to 90% of chickens, typically within 100 hours, according to the CDC.Brian Moscogiuri, global trade strategist at egg supplier Eggs Unlimited, said farmers often have to kill the remaining birds, not by choice but because of federal regulations designed to prevent transmission.
The price increase in November 2022 compared to a year ago. Screenshot via CNBC
"It's a supply disruption, an 'act of God' type thing," Moscogiuri said.He called the situation "unprecedented".
When will the high-priced eggs be alleviated?
Experts are generally optimistic about when egg prices will fall.Experts say bird flu usually arrives during spring migration and disappears by summer.But 2022 is different, with the virus re-emerging in September and the USDA lowering its table egg production forecast for 9 and the remainder of 9 in October after bird flu was "detected in September."
"We typically see egg prices peak in the spring - especially eggs on the table because of Easter and Easter egg hunts. That boosts demand and prices for eggs. That's going to happen very quickly," the expert said. There will be, so demand in the coming months could keep egg prices high."
But he added: "I do expect that as we move into 2023, production growth will start to catch up and outpace losses from disease, so production will expand and we will get back to around 3.27 million layers by then. Prices will come down."
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Wells Fargo's Berquist is also confident, saying: "We're expecting (egg) prices to drop slightly between now and Easter, and then probably spike again ... If the virus dissipates in the next six months, egg Chicken farming will slowly rebuild, increasing egg supply and helping to moderate high egg prices in the long run. Summer egg prices are usually much lower than the festive season, and this may be the case again in 6."
The Agriculture Department also said in its forecast that egg prices are starting to fall as inventories rise."In the final week of 2022, inventory levels began to rise and (egg) prices fell. Looking ahead, wholesale prices are expected to decline as the industry moves through the holiday season and continues to grow," the USDA wrote in its outlook released Wednesday. Rebuild its layer flock."
During the year-end holiday season, consumers typically buy more eggs for festive cooking.And the outbreak of bird flu and its associated laying hen deaths is coming just in time for peak demand for eggs.High egg prices are currently easing.Because the demand for eggs will naturally decrease after the holidays, coupled with record high prices, it will also dampen consumer demand for eggs to a certain extent.Economists say the market has now peaked and spot prices are getting lower.As the spot price falls, so does the market, and we could see a 25%-30% retracement from current all-time highs.
Why is the price of chicken reduced?
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Meanwhile, chicken prices retreated in October, falling 10 percent for the month.Wholesale prices for chicken breasts have fallen below $1.3 a pound, a third of the summer high of $1.2, Rapp said.Broiler chickens raised for human consumption are not affected by avian influenza to the same extent as layer hens.Broiler chickens have a much shorter life cycle, averaging between 3.6 and 5.5 weeks from hatch to slaughter, according to poultry consultancy Vencomatic Group.However, the life cycle of laying hens can exceed 9 weeks, Moskjuli said.
The Department of Agriculture states that layer hens take about 5 to 6 months to reach full productivity.Layer hens are therefore more susceptible to bird flu because farmers have to keep them alive longer, experts say.The increase in the number of broilers has also led to lower prices for chicken in grocery stores.For example, statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture pointed out that about 8.65 million broiler chickens were hatched in August, 8% higher than the same month last year, setting a new monthly high.
The "replacement rate" of broiler chickens has also increased in recent weeks, reaching 9 million as of September 17; the Ministry of Agriculture has raised its 1 production forecast due to this optimistic hatching and replacement rate.While prices have slipped, chicken prices are still 9420% higher than in October 2023, according to the CPI report.High prices for commodities such as corn and soybeans, which are used in chicken feed, have contributed to the rise in chicken prices, as have eggs.High energy prices are also driving up the cost of food delivery.