Egg prices are likely to stay strong through 2008, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). The Department’s Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report issued last month predicts that third-quarter egg prices will range between 88-92 cents per dozen (New York) and 91-97 cents in the fourth quarter for an annual price average in 2007 of 94 to 97 cents per dozen.

But ERS’ 2008 forecast is nearly as buoyant: a 95 cent to $1.03/dozen range for first quarter 2008, 83-88 cents in the second quarter, for a 2008 New York average price of 89 to 97 cents.

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These strong forecasted prices contrast with the 71.8-cent per dozen average for 2006, 65.5 cents for 2005, and 82.2 cents for 2004.

The department forecasts per capita consumption in 2007 to be 249.2, the lowest in recent years, and 252.9 in 2008. By contrast, per capita consumption in 2006 was 255.7, 255.3 in 2005, and 256.9 in 2004.