From: National Restaurant News
Effects of avian flu begin to wane, experts say
By Ron Ruggless, Southwest Bureau Chief, Nation’s Restaurant News
“As we enter 2016, all indicators point toward plenty of eggs and egg products being available for food service use,” John Howeth, executive vice president of the American Egg Board, an industry trade group, said in a statement. “And barring any further incidents, we expect egg supply and pricing to return to their previous consistency.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting an average price for large eggs of $1.66 a dozen in 2016, a decrease from the 2015 average of $1.84, but higher than the $1.42 in 2014, before the past year’s avian flu outbreak that hit producers in Iowa and Minnesota especially hard at mid-year.
Egg prices rose for the first time in 5 months, increasing 0.2 percent from January to February, and prices are still 6 percent above February 2015 levels. Retail egg prices are among the most volatile retail food prices, as they can be affected by seasonal demand. However, the upswing in 2015 was primarily due to the HPAI outbreak, which decreased the table-egg-laying flocks in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest by 11 percent (33 million egg layers). In the first quarter of 2016, egg production is forecast to be down due to smaller flock sizes and lower egg-laying rates per bird. However, as the industry continues to recover from this outbreak, prices at the retail level are expected to decline in 2016. ERS now forecasts egg prices to decrease 1.5 to 0.5 percent in 2016.
Report for February, 2016