Since eggs are a top consumer product— and relied upon by millions of American families, the huge spike in prices has made a major difference. American families were struggling enough with the price of groceries before this due to inflation.
Now, with eggs increasing in price and decreasing in quantity, we may be seeing another major problem for the average American. Furthermore, it shows the inefficiency of our government agencies to deal with a crisis.
Things have gotten so bad that there is even egg smuggling from Mexico.
So who is at fault? It depends on who you ask.
Robert Reich, former Clinton-era Secretary of Labor, blames a cartel of chicken producers. He cited the fact that egg prices are up 60%. Instead of explaining what the true problem was, he just blamed corporate greed.
Egg prices are up 60%. That’s absurd. People are paying up upwards of $6 and $7 for a dozen eggs.
Why? Corporate greed.
Cal-Maine, the largest egg producer in the US, is raking record profits — $198 million in its latest quarter.
That’s a 65% increase from a year ago.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 20, 2023
There are others who blame nefarious hands for the price spike. The agriculture group Farm Action called upon the Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C.) to investigate the large increase in prices.
There are two main problems driving up the price of eggs. First is the same force increasing food prices in general: a large spike in inflation. The second is an outbreak of avian flu that is severely crimping egg production.
Year over year, the average price of eggs across the country has more than doubled. This is in large part because the Avian flu killed 43 million chickens that laid eggs. This resulted in a massive reduction of the supply of eggs. Worse, popular Christmas dishes and eggnog are made with eggs.
As a result of the avian flu, there are further issues coming, but with some good news possible. The U.S.D.A. believes that egg prices will come down later in 2023— and perhaps start reducing in price in the near future.
It will take time for the stock of chickens in U.S. farms will fully recover. Hopefully this is the last major outbreak of disease our country will have to deal with in a long time.