Egg Prices Skyrocketed in 2022 — Will Prices Continue To Surge in 2023?

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The grocery sector was hit hard by inflation in 2022, but no single item was struck as hard as eggs. The price of eggs was up 49.1% in November, according to the consumer price index. What caused the drastic price hike and will it continue in 2023?

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There are a few reasons why the price of food in general got so high in 2022. The war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions, for example, both played a part; but eggs were a unique case. The biggest reason costs rose so profoundly in this category is because of a deadly outbreak of an avian flu, which led to the death of 52.7 million birds in the U.S. this year, according to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Egg supply has simply been unable to keep up with demand, and consequently prices have reached astronomical highs. On Dec. 23, Midwest large eggs — the benchmark for eggs sold in their shells — reached $5.46 per dozen, Karyn Rispoli, editor of the Egg Price Current for Urner Barry, told CNN Business. This time in 2021, the price for that same product hovered at around $1.70.

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Consumers can likely expect to see egg prices stay high into the new year as the deadly avian flu continues to afflict poultry flocks across the U.S.

“This year, we’ve continued to see flock depopulations throughout the entire year, and there’s an expectation that we’ll continue to see it into 2023,” Brian Earnest, lead economist for animal protein in CoBank, told CNN Business. “We’re going to see a tight supply situation and elevated pricing environment moving forward.”

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As of Dec. 29, the avian flu had been detected in nearly 58,000 U.S birds, according to the CDC.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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