The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts consumers will be paying less for beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey in early 2018 than at the start of 2017. Not so for eggs.
Egg prices during the first three months of 2018 are likely to be more than 35 percent higher than they were during the same period of 2017, USDA's Economic Research Service says. The increase, from about 80 cents for a dozen grade A large eggs at the start of 2017 to predictions of $1.06 to $1.12 for a dozen, is due to several months of increased sales.
Iowa State University professor Hongwei Xin, who directs the school's Egg Industry Center, says domestic and international demand for U.S. eggs are on the rise.
"We are at 273.7, about 274 eggs per capita per year," he says of U.S. consumption. "This is the highest of the past 38 years." And he says it's expected to continue climbing.
Meanwhile, bird flu, which devastated the Midwest poultry sector in 2015, affected egg production this year in other countries, including South Korea, the Philippines, South Africa and the Netherlands.