Wholesale egg prices are set to fall to $1 a dozen in the coming weeks, the lowest level in nearly two years, as prices fall dramatically from all-time highs during the winter.
The wholesale price, which retailers such as grocery stores pay to egg distributors, stood at $1.22 per dozen on April 26, according to Arnor Barry, a market research firm. Their Midwest Large White Egg Price Benchmark is a widely cited barometer in the egg industry.
That’s down from records of $5.46 in December and $3.54 around the Easter holidays, both seasonal periods of high consumer demand. Overall the prices have come down by 78% in about five months.
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They could soon drop below $1 a dozen if the trend continues, said Keren Rispoli, who leads egg market coverage at Urnar Barry. This will be the first time after July 2021.
“Everything’s Down [since Easter]», Rispoli said about the wholesale price. “It’s certainly experiencing a very rapid recovery.”
Why did egg prices go up and then down?
Retailers really have carte blanche to do what they want with their prices.
Head of Egg Market Coverage at Urner Barrie
There have been no new cases of bird flu at commercial egg farms since December, helping the egg supply recover, said Brian Moscogiuri, global business strategist for Unlimited Eggs, a provider. Meanwhile, consumer demand is generally weak at this time of year, he said.
“Prices have fallen more than industry expectations at this point in time,” Moscogiuri said.
Retail prices, which consumers pay in stores, lag behind wholesale price trends. But the extent of consumers’ future savings on egg cartons is unclear, as retailers have discretion to set their selling prices.
“Retailers really have carte blanche to do what they want with their pricing,” Rispoli said.
The average consumer paid $3.45 for a dozen large Grade A eggs in March, according to federal data. Figures. That’s down from the record high of $4.82 in January, but up from $2.05 a year ago.
“All of a sudden you can have eggs for a dollar or $1.69 [a dozen] again,” especially if retailers advertise eggs as the harm leader to entice consumers into the store, Moscogiuri said.
While some may try to make up for the financial loss on eggs from the winter months, the cost savings at the wholesale level may not be easily recouped, he said.