Headline RoundupJanuary 30th, 2023

Why Are Eggs So Expensive Right Now?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

U.S. egg prices hit record highs after rising throughout 2022, primarily because of a global avian flu outbreak.

For Context: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a dozen large Grade A eggs in the U.S. rose from $1.93 in January 2022 to $3.12 in August — beating the previous record of $2.97 in September 2015. From there, prices spiked to $4.25 in December 2022. Price spikes in both 2015 and 2022 were largely attributed to outbreaks of avian flu; according to the Department of Agriculture, 2022’s outbreak led to the loss of over 43 million egg-laying hens. The problem is global — many countries like New Zealand and Malaysia have also faced spiking egg prices, elevating the role of egg exporters like India. 

Other Factors: Avian flu does not explain the whole picture, however. The Department of Agriculture also pointed to high holiday demand, and others have pointed to inflation, lingering supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine, which impacted supplies of chicken feed. Furthermore, some called on the FTC to investigate potential price gouging after the nation’s top egg producer reported record profits. 

How the Media Covered It: Headlines were awash with puns and humor, with references to  “egg-flation” and advice on how to “egg-scape from high prices.” Coverage was generally balanced, with all sides covering various factors impacting egg prices. Some commentators from the right accused President Joe Biden of “blaming” inflation on the avian flu outbreak.

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