High Path Avian Influenza has reduced poultry flocks, killing 40 million birds. Many of them are egg-laying hens.
“This is showing up in the retail egg sector. Most of the birds lost, approximately 40 million, have been among laying hens. We have had about two million lost this month so far, so we are still not entirely sure what the trajectory of this outbreak is going to look like and how it is going to affect egg prices, but so far we can see that it’s already increased egg prices substantially. There was a 10 percent increase last month, a five percent increase this month, bringing us to a year-over-year change of 32.2 percent.”
Chicken prices are up 17 percent on the year and are still rising. USDA says we have not seen these kinds of increases since 1980.