Price of eggs down 30% as avian flu impact subsidesMay 26, 2022
The price of eggs is decreasing along with the prevalence of avian flu in Missouri and among the nation’s egg and poultry producers.
The Urner Barry Egg Index reported the price of a dozen eggs was $1.75 on Monday, down 80 cents or 30% from a peak of $2.55 on April 4.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Health Inspection Service reports the avian flu has affected 38 million birds in 35 states since the first case was confirmed in February in Indiana. Approximately 21 million birds were depopulated in March and 15 million in April. Less than 80,000 birds were affected in May. The USDA reported the destruction of 182 commercial flocks and 167 backyard flocks of poultry and egg producers.
n Missouri, 434,790 birds were affected in six commercial flocks and three backyard flocks since March 4. The last reported detection was April 6.
The Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed infected wild birds in 23 Missouri counties as of May 11. The department stated it wasn’t necessary to remove backyard bird feeders as songbirds don’t appear to be significant virus carriers. The disease can spread to domesticated poultry through contact with waterfowl, including water, food sources and fecal matter. The virus can be spread to poultry producers of all sizes by contaminated equipment or clothing.
The long-term financial cost of the outbreak is still being calculated as the replacement of flocks continues. For now, the outbreak isn’t as severe as in 2015, when approximately 7.4 million turkeys and 43 million egg layers were affected by the avian flu and died from the disease or were depopulated as part of the response, according to the USDA document, “Final Report for the 2014-2015 Outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the United States.”
The 2015 HPAI outbreak was the largest ever recorded in the nation and “arguably the most significant animal health event in U.S. history,” according to the report. Approximately $850 million was obligated for response activities and indemnity payments and another $100 million for future preparedness activities, making it the most expensive animal health incident recorded in U.S. history.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported the price of eggs in September 2015 was $2.96, the highest amount since it started tracking the cost in 1980.