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The good news about the butter shortage and the bad news about egg prices

Prices of butter and eggs dramatically rose in 2022. Will that happen in 2023?

SHARE The good news about the butter shortage and the bad news about egg prices
Eggs are displayed at a grocery store.

Eggs are displayed at a grocery store.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Last year, as holiday baking started, the ongoing butter shortage and egg shortage meant that Christmastime butter boards and cookies would cost a pretty penny more than usual.

As the new year begins, shoppers can expect to see the price of butter ease up, but the egg shortage is a different story.

Butter shortage

The butter shortage was predicted as lasting until December 2022, according to the Deseret News. While butter may have appeared to level out, according to Dairy Herd Management, 2023 prices will be hard to predict.

But for now, the price of butter is expected to decrease.

According to MarketWatch, the price of butter was 31.4% higher in December 2022 than it was in December 2021 — clocking in at an average of $4.81 per pound. Prices are predicted to decrease slightly, but year-to-year increases will remain high.

“Going forward into 2023, the price of butter could soften, but year-over-year price increases could still stay high, said Tanner Ehmke, lead economist of dairy and specialty crops at CoBank,” MarketWatch reported.

Why are eggs so expensive?

As for the price of eggs, egg shoppers won’t be surprised to learn that eggs saw a dramatic increase in price in December.

Egg prices rose 59.9% in December 2022 per Market Watch. Practically speaking, that means you’re paying more than twice as much for eggs compared to 2021. While eggs were $1.79 for a dozen in December 2021, they average $4.25 in December 2022, and some states had prices as high as $8 for a dozen organic eggs.

Even though egg prices are expected to drop slightly in 2023, per the Deseret News, they will still remain at high prices.

About the price drop, Market Watch said, “But it will not be a significant drop given the ongoing flu and high cost of feed. If input costs continue to increase and the bird flu continues to kill large quantities of hens, the costs will most likely be passed on to consumers, said Curt Covington, senior director of partner relations at AgAmerica Lending, a financial services company providing agriculture loans.”

While inflation has contributed to prices of several food items, another reason for the price of eggs is a particularly bad case of avian flu, according to the Deseret News. Tens of millions of chickens have died as a result of it.