US producer egg prices up 266% in 2022 vs 2021

The October 2022 egg value for producers was US$2.07/dozen, 266% higher compared to October 2021.

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Egg nest of hundred dollar bills
Egg nest of hundred dollar bills
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The October 2022 egg value for producers was US$2.07/dozen, 266% higher compared to October 2021, according to the Egg Industry Center’s U.S. Egg Cost of Production and Prices report published in November 2022.

This resulted in the retail price for large white eggs rising to US$2.90/dozen on average for the first 10 months 2022, compared to US$1.64 in 2021. The country’s 12-month average egg value was 126% higher compared to the 10-year average for the same period.

In October 2022, the price of corn was US$58/ton, or up 28%, and the price of soybean meal (SBM) was US$105, or up 30%, compared to October 2021. These significant increases resulted in an inflated feed cost of US$66/ton, up 27% from last year.

Regionally, the Northwest has documented the highest 10-month average corn and SMB prices in 2022, at US$306.40/ton and US$533.47/ton, respectively. As a result, the region recorded the highest 10-month average estimated layer feed cost in 2022 at US$358.86/ton.

A major reason that egg prices are higher is due to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the country. As of November 2022, over 36.6 million layers have been depopulated, significantly reducing the egg supply and affecting prices. In September 2022, the U.S. layer flock size was 307 million compared to 321.6 million layers in September 2021., a 4.5% reduction.

Rabobank’s review on corn and soybean prices

According to Rabobank’s North American Agribusiness review in Spring 2022, the war in Ukraine’s effect on the global grain supply and trade caused U.S corn and soybean prices to rise.

The report projected that the U.S. would plant 4.2 million fewer acres of corn in 2022 compared to 2021. This forced a tight balance sheet for corn and reduced options for feed operations to use corn as a substitute in rations. 

The soybean planted area across North America may have been projected to grow by 4% in 2022, however, lower production in South America saw more U.S. soybeans sold in international markets. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine are still affecting labor, supply chain and transportation costs in the U.S., which all influence the price of eggs.

The Egg Industry Center sourced the report’s corn and soybean meal prices from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) market news report and its retail egg prices from Urner Barry’s price quotations and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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