News 10621 views 1 commentupdate:Mar 9, 2016

US egg prices set to double in wake of AI crisis

Egg prices in the US are sky-rocketing following the outbreaks of avian flu with the cost of eggs to nearly double in June for producers. Wholesale prices for chicken eggs jumped 84.5% in June, the US Department of Labor said.

Eggs make up an extremely small share of the broader producer price index but have soared in price since April. "When they're rising at a 58,000% annualized rate, as they have the past two months, the impact is material," said Ted Wieseman, an analyst at Morgan Stanley who estimates that eggs account for nearly a fifth of the total 0.4% increase in producer prices last month.

Wholesale chicken egg prices recorded the largest increase since the government began tracking the costs in 1937.

Cut in egg supply
More than 49 million chickens and turkeys died or were euthanised in 15 states this spring as the flu virus spread from the Pacific north-west into midwest farms. The loss of those birds has cut into the supply of eggs, provoking a shortage that should begin to cause higher egg prices in stores, Wieseman said.

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