Record jump in egg prices, more coming

Egg rationing has begun
Egg rationing has begun

Egg prices are expected to continue to rise as producers scramble to respond to the ongoing shortage caused by the Avian flu.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Wednesday that the price for wholesale chicken eggs had increased by 84.5% from May to June - the largest single-month jump since 1937, when the feds first started keeping records.

Prices began to climb in late May and early June, before easing somewhat later in the month.

US. Department of Agriculture analyst Shayle Shagam said the average retail price for a carton of eggs in New York last month was $2.49 - more than double the cost in April and May.

"Consumers are likely to start seeing prices increase at the shelf again," said Urner Barry market reporter Brian Moscogiuri.

That's because demand is expected to pick up in the fall as is typical and it is unlikely that the supply will be able to keep pace because so many chickens were wiped out.

The increase is a result of the shortage caused by the Avian influenza that struck farms in Iowa and other mid-western states in December. The outbreak, which is no longer rampant, led to the deaths of about 49 million chickens and turkeys that died.

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