Egg prices fall back to normal levels

Egg prices plummet after five months of price increases which has prompted some consumers to smuggle cheaper eggs from Mexico.

Prices fell 6.7% in February, according to consumer price index data released on Tuesday. It comes after egg prices jumped every month from October, pushing the average price of a dozen Grade A eggs from $2.90 in September to $4.82 in January, according to the figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

With February’s price drop, the cost of a dozen eggs fell to $4.21.

Even though prices are falling, buyers are still paying 55% more for a dozen eggs than a year earlier, partly because of an outbreak of bird flu. Tens of millions of laying hens have been slaughtered in what has become the deadliest bird flu outbreak in US history, which has limited egg supplies and driven up prices.

With eggs still relatively expensive, Dollar Tree has halted egg sales at its Dollar Tree stores, with the chain not expecting to bring the food back until this fall, according to Reuters.

The move comes ahead of the Easter and Passover spring break, when consumers tend to buy more eggs. But grocers are cautious about Easter demand this year due to concerns that still-high prices could dampen demand, according to an analysis of egg prices from the US Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, grocery stores aren’t discounting eggs because they’re “just keeping eggs on the shelf going through normal attrition,” according to an analysis of egg prices from the U.S. Department of Food. Agriculture.

The bird flu outbreak has infected more than 58.5 million birds in 791 flocks in 14 states as of Tuesday, USDA data shows. Since infected birds must be culled, the outbreak was a major factor in driving up egg prices.

It’s not just egg prices that are hitting wallets. Rising food costs have continued to weigh on household budgets in recent months. Grocery prices jumped 10.2% year on year in February, as costs for items ranging from frozen fruits and vegetables to ham soared last month, CPI data showed.


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