Here’s why we are seeing a nationwide egg shortage
(CNN) – Consumers and businesses are seeing an increase in egg prices and an egg shortage at grocery stores.
The egg shortage has resulted in plenty of empty shelves and customers having to shell out more cash for the hard-to-find egg cartons.
According to the food market data company Urner Barry, the average price for eggs was $4.33 per dozen as of Tuesday.
Last year around this time, the price was around $1.33.
Businesses are being forced to pass on the higher costs to consumers.
An avian flu that’s wiped out egg-producing hens, leading to a major squeeze, is one of the reasons for the shortage.
According to the USDA, about 60 million birds are gone because of the disease so far. Farmers across the country have had to destroy entire flocks of chickens if one or more of the birds test positive for the avian flu.
Additionally, the higher prices for transportation, feed and energy for producers are also forcing egg providers to raise prices.
Experts from research firm IRI said it could take several months for production to return to normal.
Data shows shoppers have been accepting the high prices at the grocery store. The sales of eggs have only dropped about 2% by unit in retail in the year through Dec. 4, according to data from IRI.
To avoid scrambling to find eggs, experts suggest avoiding grocery shopping on Sunday nights or Monday mornings, since most stores restock overnight during the week.
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