It seems a long time ago when simple eggs were cheap products available to everyone. For several months, their price has skyrocketed in the US. The proof: according to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, cited by Quartz, the price of eggs rose 60% in a year last December, when inflation of other foods was not “to” 10.4% in the same period. Now the price of a dozen eggs in the United States is now 4.25 dollars (3.9 euros), against 1.79 dollars last year. On Tuesday, in Manhattan’s posh and expensive Upper East Side neighborhood, gourmet grocer Eli’s Market sold a dozen organic eggs for between $12.99 and $17.99, reports Guardian.
It is clear that such price increases are not due to chance. And the first reason is called bird flu. Since January 2022, more than 57 million birds have actually been infected with the disease and its particularly virulent strain, increasing animal mortality to nearly 100%, according to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Who says fewer birds says reduction in the supply of laying hens and therefore an increase in the price of eggs. However, according to several associations in defense of farmers, the inflation in egg prices is not a consequence of bird flu, but rather of a system of agreements between industrialists that they have introduced to increase their profits. “Companies work together to exploit these convenient excuses by using bird flu and inflation to set higher prices for the consumer”charges Angela Huffman, co-founder and vice president of Farm Action.
In addition to bird flu, egg production, like other industries, is affected by the increase in production costs. “Especially the costs of feed, labour, fuel and packaging have increased significantly, which affects production costs and thus the wholesale and retail prices of eggs.”says Max P. Bowman, vice president and chief financial officer of Cal-Maine, the largest egg supplier in the United States, quoted by Guardian. Feeding hens can account for up to 50% of the cost of producing an egg. Blessed bread for some opportunists who have taken advantage of inflation to try to smuggle eggs across the Mexican border for a super profit.