Mar 12, 2024 - Business

Why egg prices are going back up ahead of Easter

Average U.S. price for a dozen eggs
Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

Egg prices are soaring again and increased 8.4% in February from January, according to the latest Consumer Price Index released Tuesday.

Why it matters: Elevated prices ahead of Easter are giving consumers flashbacks to the sky-high prices of 2023, which peaked at $4.82 for a dozen in January.

  • February 2024 prices dropped 17% from a year earlier, the CPI, a key inflation barometer, found.

Between the lines: Eggs were the top-ranked Google search on cost in 2023 in all 50 states and D.C., Google Trends analysis found.

Bird flu outbreak impact on egg prices

Driving the news: Supply issues related to the ongoing bird flu outbreak and weather-related demand have fueled the inflation of eggs, Brian Moscogiuri, a global trade strategist at Eggs Unlimited, told Axios.

  • Moscogiuri said prices are starting to drop but it could take time before consumers see a difference at the store.

By the numbers: A dozen eggs cost an average price of $3 in February, federal data shows.

  • In August 2023, a dozen eggs cost $2.04.
  • A dozen cost $1.20 in June 2019, the lowest price in at least 10 years, data shows.

Context: Avian influenza cases began in early 2022 and have affected 82 million birds, according to the CDC.

  • The outbreak affected around 20 million birds in November and December 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
  • About 2 million birds were affected in January and February.

Easter egg prices 2024

Easter is the second hottest demand period of the year for eggs, Moscogiuri said, noting it only trails the busy winter holidays.

  • "Typically as we go into Easter, you see a lot of promotional activity and ads for Easter," Moscogiuri said. "We're not seeing as much of that this year because of those price levels that we're coming off of."

Zoom in: Some retailers may entice shoppers with lower prices on eggs to drive sales of other holiday products like pre-assembled Easter baskets, Matt Pavich, senior director of strategy and innovation at Revionics, told Axios.

What's next: Egg prices are predicted to decrease 2.8% in 2024, the USDA said in a food price outlook.

  • Demand for eggs is expected to decline after Easter, which is early this year, Moscogiuri said. May is one of the slowest periods for eggs.

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