How Do Events Like Bird Flu Affect Wholesale Egg Prices?

Bird flu and other avian diseases can depress egg production, constraining supply and eventually triggering higher wholesale prices; for instance, in June 2015, wholesale egg prices rose by 84.5 percent as egg production dropped due to the avian flu outbreak that devastated chicken populations in certain parts of the United States, notes USA Today. The outbreak affected 47 million birds and reduced production by 28 million eggs a day, reports U.S. News & World Report.

Because of the significant fall in chicken populations triggered by the avian flu, the wholesale prices of breaker eggs, which are broken open and the yield dried, frozen or liquefied for use in a range of products, rose by 273 percent between April 20 and June 8, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Apart from bird flu and other avian diseases, other factors can also affect wholesale egg prices, notes Cal-Maine Foods. For instance, prior to the fall of 2004, a range of popular diets triggered increased demand for eggs, leading to a rise in egg prices. Between 2004 and 2006, prices dropped as the diets fell out of favor, precipitating oversupply and reduced demand for eggs. The mismatch between demand and supply eased between 2006 and 2008, and egg prices rose, fell in subsequent years as supply increased, and rose again in 2014.