The avian flu has made a lot of victims among the egg-laying population this year, especially throughout the last several months. In April, the situation started to worsen, mainly because the disease spread at a faster pace and the number of birds getting sick increased greatly, prompting the authorities to declare a national crisis.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that the number of birds affected – including chickens and turkeys, has reached 46 million.
Thus, it is no wonder that the price of eggs is about to get steeper, given the fact that these products have become scarcer.
In Texas, which was one of the most affected states, you can see signs such as “The purchase of eggs is limited to three cartons per customer” at H-E-B grocery stores, which currently operates about 350 supermarkets, this making it one of the largest chains in the United States.
Representatives of the chain have already announced that they are facing an egg shortage due to the avian flu that struck so many farms. However, they also stated that their commitment to customers has not changed:
“H-E-B is committed to ensuring Texas families and households have access to eggs. The signs placed on our shelves last week are to deter commercial users from buying eggs in bulk,” they said.
The price of eggs paid by manufacturers has almost tripled in the last couple of months, from $0.63 per dozen to about $1.50. Obviously, this is likely to affect the price for pasta, cakes, bread and other foods that contain egg.
Moreover, it has been predicted that these new values will affect the price paid for various dishes, especially for those companies serving breakfast. Some of them have already announced that they will limit their serving hours for this particular meal of the day. Such an example is Whataburger, which has many restaurants in Texas.
The shell-eggs consumers buy are also more expensive than they used to be. Most stores have doubled the price per dozen already.
Most of the population of birds affected by the virus consists of egg-laying hens. It was estimated that these represented 80 percent of the infected poultry.
Given the high number of birds affected, we might expect not only an increased price and restriction regarding their eggs but also regarding their meat.
This situation is not likely to change anytime soon. Even if some farms were not struck by the virus at all, they will not be able to cover the massive losses easily, so it will take a while for stores to refill their stocks.
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