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April 10, 2014

Plenty of Eggs for Easter and Passover

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

 
The American Farm Bureau recently released its Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey of retail prices on 16 food items. The informal survey, conducted by 87 volunteers in 27 states at local grocery stores, revealed higher prices for eggs, bacon and several other foods, with the overall basket about 3.5 percent higher than a year ago. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyFrom the American Farm Bureau's Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey, results show retail egg prices are historically high at $1.98 per dozen. Farm Bureau economist John Anderson says that's nearly an 8 percent increase from a year ago.
AndersonThat's actually, by a few cents, the highest price that we've seen on eggs in our survey. So, historically a new number for us.
OtterbyAlthough retail prices have increased, there will be plenty of eggs available for consumers to fill Easter baskets and for Passover celebrations. Egg production has steadily increased during the past few years, according to Anderson, and forecasts for this year show another increase.
AndersonSo on the supply side, I think farmers are responding to the market. We’re getting more production online and we’re seeing production increase, it's just that we haven't really caught up with demand because demand for eggs has been really strong.
OtterbyAnderson says one reason for strong egg demand is the high price of all meat items from historically small supplies of those products.
AndersonThe other part of it is that we've had a really strong export market for eggs. A lot of that has to do with Mexico. A couple of years ago, Mexico had some problems with avian influenza, and they were forced to make up the difference with eggs from the United States. And so we've had really strong exports in general, but especially to Mexico.
OtterbyAnderson says as Mexican egg production starts to get back on track, he believes exports to Mexico will begin to taper off. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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