Egg prices jump as bird flu pinches supply

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Egg prices have surged higher as the death of millions of hens from bird flu is beginning to tighten supplies.

The Midwest price of a dozen large eggs rose to $1.88. That’s 58 percent higher than they were a month ago when the bird flu first hit Iowa chicken farms.

Prices have been climbing at a rate of about 5 percent a day for the past week as supplies become tighter.

Rick Brown, an egg industry analyst with commodity market firm Urner Barry, says it’s because 10 percent of chickens that lay eggs for food are dead or dying from bird flu.

Eggs used principally as an ingredient in ice cream, mayonnaise and other products are up even more, about 162 percent to $1.65 a dozen since April 22.

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