In recent years, the prices of commodities have shot through the roof. However, the price of one particular item has doubled, if not tripled.
Eggs. Yes. Eggs!
As of December last year, a dozen eggs in the U.S. was valued at $4.25 –twice the price of what eggs cost a year ago. Eggs, it seems, have become a luxury, one reserved for those with the purchasing power to battle through the various factors causing the shortage in the supply of eggs. This brings us to the meat of this discourse –why are eggs so expensive these days?
Why Eggs Are Expensive
There are a lot of factors that have caused eggs to be costly. These include:
- Inflation: According to reports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American consumed about 278 eggs in 2022. When broken down, this amounted to an egg at breakfast on some days.
Supplying these eggs greatly depends on the hens that provide them. These hens also depend on their daily diet of grains, corn, and oats –all of which have increased in price exponentially, affecting egg farmers more than anyone else. One major cause of the inflation is the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which has affected Ukraine’s ability to supply grains globally.
- Avian Flu: Another factor that has affected the supply of eggs is the hens themselves. Egg-laying hens have drastically reduced in the U.S. after avian influenza –a highly contagious disease– broke out in early 2022. As a result of this, 44 million egg-laying eggs died.
The flu affected many birds. The egg farmers had no choice but to kill other hens that were exposed to prevent influenza from spreading. It may take many months for the farmers to recover from this onslaught. Additionally, these egg farmers must clear out their facilities, bring in the new hens, and wait for them to lay eggs.
- The Demand for Eggs: Finally, the demand for eggs has skyrocketed steadily in the last few months. Experts believe that prices will have to soar still to reduce the demand for eggs, even by a fraction of what it is. This has led many people to look for alternatives that can act in place of eggs for many of the meals that require eggs. Others have even gone ahead to raise their chickens; however, experts have noted that raising chickens may not be as cost-effective.