USDA’s Chicken and Eggs Summary for 2022 shows how highly pathogenic avian influenza impacted growers and consumers. American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Bernt Nelson explains the data.
Nelson; “The average layers during 2022 was around 379 million. This was down three percent from a year ago in 2021. The average production per layer was 289 eggs, this is up about one percent from 2021. Egg production in 2022 totaled 110 billion eggs, or down right around two percent.”
Nelson says a recent drop in prices sparked more demand, bringing prices back up in February. “Since prices have kind of dropped off a little bit, especially on the wholesale side of things, the retailers have really started to pick up their purchasing, and that in turn has increased our demand and thus raised prices up again. So, the national average, we’re looking at our large Grade A shell eggs coming in at around $4.82 per dozen. So, we’re seeing these prices kind of pick back up again for the near term.”
He adds the next few months will be key to where prices move later this year.
Nelson; “We’re going into the migratory waterfowl season, and so far in February, things have remained pretty calm. At this time last year was when we really saw the HPAI cases starting to accelerate. So, if things remain slower and we don’t see as many outbreaks, we may see some of these prices come back down as producers actively pursue replenishing their inventory.”