Why This Egg Shortage Isn’t Going Over Easy

The outbreak of bird flu has impacted grocers, restaurants and distributors. Find out how much a dozen eggs will cost by the end of the year.

Why This Egg Shortage Isn’t Going Over Easy Photo (cc) by Johnath

Egg prices are predicted to reach record highs this year.

In a monthly supply-and-demand report issued this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the ongoing avian influenza outbreak has prompted the federal agency to boost its latest average-price projections.

It is now estimated that the 2015 average price of one dozen Grade A eggs in New York will increase 30 cents this month from May projections, to between $1.60 and $1.66.

The price is expected to continue to increase to between $1.73 and $1.87 in the fourth quarter of the year.

Reuters reports that this year’s average estimate of $1.60 to $1.66 for a dozen Grade A eggs would top the record high of $1.42 reached last year.

CNN Money reports that bird flu has led to the deaths of 35 million of the more than 300 million egg-laying birds in the U.S.

Egg supplier Michael Foods, owned by the packaged-goods holding company Post, announced at the end of May that another company-owned chicken flock had tested positive for avian flu.

That came after the company’s mid-May announcement that an outbreak had left Michael Foods “unable to fully perform under its existing supply agreements with customers.”

Companies continue to respond to the shortage of available eggs. The fast-food chain Whataburger announced last week that it would resume serving breakfast from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. but would serve eggs only from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. “to concentrate the limited supply during peak breakfast hours.”

Dya Campos, a spokesperson for the Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B, told CNN Money that the grocer recently started limiting the number of cartons of eggs that customers can buy:

“Our goal is to hold prices as low as possible and level out the volatility in the egg market for our customers. Posting limits on the purchase of eggs is a proactive move to keep prices low and availability strong for Texas families.”

Have you noticed the price of eggs or egg-based restaurant dishes rising in your area? Tell us about it below or on Facebook.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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