Egg Prices Went Up Yet Again Last Month — But Relief Could Be In Sight

The bad news: the after shocks of the avian flu outbreak that hit U.S. farms this year continue to linger, with egg prices increasing yet again in September. The good news: prices should start to fall, experts say, just in time for prime holiday baking season.

The Labor Department reported its biggest year-over-year increase of 2015 for egg prices last month, with the average price nationwide for a dozen eggs rising to $2.97, up from $2.94 in August and a 50.6% spike over September 2014, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Respite from high prices is likely on the horizon, according to Rick Brown, senior vice president of commodity market analysis firm Urner Barry. He told the Tribune that he thinks prices will decline before the end of 2015 as farmers start restocking their bird populations as they recover from losing almost 50 million chickens in the midst of the avian flu. Price increases are staying relatively low due to imported eggs from Europe and Mexico, as well.

“We’ve reached the point where the price is starting to flow down,” Brown told the Tribune.

It’s good timing, too: people love baking during the holidays when it’s cold outside and cozy inside. Demand might not be as high as usual as consumers shy away from high prices, however. Food producers are instead turning to egg substitutes and fewer whole eggs to save cash.

In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been throwing money at the problem, reporting that it spent an estimated $500 million trying to flush out every trace of the flu from U.S. farms. That effort could pay off.

“The worst is behind us, provided we don’t have another outbreak,” Brown said.

Fingers (and feathers) crossed.

Egg prices jump again, but relief may be on the way [Chicago Tribune]

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