Avian influenza has already impacted more than 37 million birds across 34 US states this year. The fast-spreading virus has sent the production of eggs tumbling and prices at the supermarket soaring.
Bloomberg reports the production of US eggs in April plunged as millions of egg-producing hens were slaughtered to mitigate the virus’ spread. The latest data from the USDA shows egg production fell 3.9% to 7.55 billion, while the number of egg-laying birds dropped 5.3% from a year ago.
The reduced output will continue to pressure retail prices for a dozen of eggs higher. In April alone, prices jumped 23% from the month before to $2.52. Prices reached levels not seen since early 2016, a period that followed the avian influenza outbreak of 2014-15, which led to a 50% increase in egg prices in the second half of 2015.
Egg prices could rise more as producers fail to meet increased demand as supplies tighten. The cost of breakfast is soaring. Everything from orange juice to bacon to wheat has jumped in price — the first meal of the day used to be the most affordable — not so much anymore.
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