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Wholesale egg prices are set to drop to $1 a dozen in the coming weeks — the lowest level in nearly two years — as prices fall sharply from winter’s record highs.
The wholesale price — the price retailers such as grocery stores pay distributors for eggs — was $1.22 per dozen as of April 26, the report said. Onabali, a market research firm. Its Midwest Large White Egg price benchmark is a widely quoted barometer for the egg industry.
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That was down from a record $5.46 in December and $3.54 around the Easter holiday, both periods of strong consumer demand. Overall, prices have dropped 78% in about five months.
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If the trend continues, they could fall below $1 a dozen soon, said Karyn Rispoli, head of egg market coverage at Urner Barry. This will be the first time since July 2021.
“It’s been down (since Easter),” Rispoli said of wholesale prices. “It has definitely undergone a very sharp correction.”
Why the price of eggs rose first and then fell
Egg supplies have been constrained by a historic outbreak of bird flu in the United States that killed millions of laying hens. The impact of reduced supply has been exacerbated by the winter holidays, which are typically the yearly peak demand for eggs.
Now, there is a reversal.
No new cases of bird flu have been detected on commercial egg farms since December, allowing egg supplies to rebound, said global trade strategist Brian Moscogiuri. unlimited eggs, a supplier. Meanwhile, consumer demand is typically weak at this time of year, he said.
“The current price collapse has exceeded industry expectations,” Moscogiuri said.
Retail prices — the prices consumers pay in stores — tend to lag wholesale price trends. But it’s unclear how much consumers will save on a carton of eggs in the future because retailers can set their own shelf prices.
“Retailers really have full discretion over pricing,” Rispoli said.
Consumers paid an average of $3.45 for a dozen large Grade A eggs in March, according to federal government data data. That was down from January’s record $4.82, but up from $2.05 a year ago.
“Suddenly, you might be able to buy eggs again for $1 or $1.69[a dozen],” especially if retailers advertise eggs as a loss-making item to lure shoppers into the store, Moscogiuri said.
However, some may be trying to recoup any financial losses on winter eggs, in which case they may not readily pass on the cost savings gained at the wholesale level, he added.