Business

Monthly egg price decline is largest in 36 years

Egg prices fell 10.9 percent in March after soaring to record levels earlier this year, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday. 

It’s the second straight month that the price of eggs has dropped. Eggs are now 36 percent more expensive than they were one year ago, down from 70.1 percent in January, government data shows.

The March price drop is the largest month-to-month decline in 36 years, according to Labor Department data analyzed by Bloomberg. It’s welcome news for consumers, particularly working families that rely on eggs as a relatively budget-friendly and nutritious food option. 

The decline helped drive down grocery prices by 0.3 percent, reversing months of consecutive price hikes. The cost of food at home is still up 8.4 percent compared to March 2022. 

Egg prices soared after recent bird flu outbreaks led to the death of more than 58 million hens. That dramatically lowered the supply of eggs, prompting retailers and other customers to pay more.

As supply recovered in recent months, wholesale prices plummeted. That eventually translated to price drops at the grocery store.  

Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg producer in the U.S., boosted its profits by more than 700 percent after it doubled egg prices. Unlike other producers, Cal-Maine didn’t report any cases of bird flu.

That prompted some Democrats in Congress to call for an investigation into allegations of price gouging by Cal-Maine and other large egg producers, arguing that smaller producers managed to keep prices down. 

Tags Eggs inflation prices

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