Americans are feeling the pinch on their grocery bills due to soaring egg prices. Wholesale prices for eggs is up nearly three times over the same time last year. Prices for large grade A white eggs ran between $2.80-$2.89 per dozen on average according to the USDA’s daily Midwest regional egg report– more than double what they cost in March.
The Cost of Eggs is Soaring
The price hike comes at the heels of rising inflation across the board and a highly infectious avian flu that had forced farmers to kill millions of egg-laying hens leading to shortages in egg supplies and price hikes.
The national price index for graded, loose, white large shell eggs rose $0.23 to $2.506 per dozen. The Midwest wholesale price for large, white, shell eggs delivered to warehouses increased $0.38 to $2.85 per dozen. While the California benchmark for large shell eggs increased $0.31 to $3.63 per dozen.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March the food at home index rose 10.0 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1981.
The price index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 13.7 percent over the last year as the index for beef rose 16 percent. The other major grocery store food group indexes also rose over the past year, with increases ranging from 7 percent (dairy and related products) to 10.3 percent (other food at home).
How Will it Impact the Easter Holiday?
Consumers can expect further price hikes as the Easter holiday approaches. Grocery items have already been impacted due to higher feed costs, spiraling fuel prices and supply chain disruptions that have negatively affected prices.
Prices across the board may also see hikes. A recent NFIB Small Business Optimism Index revealed that retailers are showing growing concerns about inflation. During the last quarter of 2021 shipping costs and frequent delivery, delays have seen inventories getting depleted without adequate replenishment.
This has led businesses to brood over raising prices. Because of the inflation, an estimated 68% of business owners say they will raise their prices -an increase by seven points since 1981- making it a 48-year record high. Price hikes in February were seen across the board in retail (79%), wholesale (77%), construction (73%), and manufacturing (72). Seasonally adjusted, a net 46% of owners plan price hikes.