By DON FENLEY
Don’t expect much egg price relief until later this year. After skyrocketing in 2022, prices for household staples – especially eggs – are expected to continue increasing this year.
Avian flu is being blamed for egg price inflation. The 2922 outbreak that set up today’s price hikes killed over 50 million birds. Most of them were egg-laying hens. That boosted egg prices by 60%.
And yes, there’s always a chance of a little extra hike by someone, somewhere in the supply chain. Consumers are mad about the increases, but they’re still buying. And, Congress is under pressure to investigate it.
The folks that keep an eye on egg supply and demand issues see things beginning to improve this fall or early winter. Until then, two-egg omelets are going to be more popular than their three-egg cousin.
Overall, prices for food prepared at home are up 11.8%, while food at restaurants is up 8.3%.
Moving past the egg issue, the primary drivers of food price inflation continue to be pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, higher energy costs, and climate change. Another big factor is Russia’s war against major wheat producer Ukraine. That crimps global supply and forces price increases on key food items.