Consumers might see a slight rise in egg prices as the Easter holiday approaches due to increased demand for baking and dyed eggs, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Dr. Craig Coufal, AgriLife Extension poultry specialist, College Station, said eggs are plentiful and prices are low as we near the holiday.
Egg prices are low, but increased demand for Easter baking, décor and hunts during the April 16 holiday could cause a slight increase in their cost. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Adam Russell)
“It looks like we’re on cruise control right now,” he said. “There are plenty of laying hens producing plenty of eggs.”
Coufal said the laying industry has fully recovered from an avian influenza outbreak that led to losses of around 35 million laying hens in the spring of 2015. Large numbers of laying hens were affected by the outbreak because hens are typically housed in large flocks, so if one facility is infected, many birds will be lost, Coufal said.
“Egg prices went crazy because there were so many birds taken out of production in March, April and May 2015,” he said. “We haven’t had any major outbreaks and those birds have been replaced, so over the past two years we’ve been in good shape.”
There are around 318.4 million laying hens in production as of January, up 6.4 percent from 299.3 million in production in January 2016, according to the March 2017 U.S. Flock Trends and Projections report by the Egg Industry Center in Ames, Iowa.
A dozen medium Grade AA white eggs averaged 87 cents in retail stores in the South Central U.S., which includes Texas, according to the March 24 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Retail Report. USDA market news reports for the region indicate the egg market is steady, with moderate to good demand.
Eggs were 5-8 cents higher, depending on size, than the previous report, according to the USDA market news report.
Coufal said consumers could expect a price spike around the April 16 holiday.
“People will be making dyed eggs for Easter egg hunts and baking for Sunday lunches and dinners,” he said. “That could mean a slight increase in prices because of demand, but prices should be back to normal soon thereafter.”
AgriLife Extension district summaries can be found here.
Source: Texas AgriLife Extension
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