June 6, 2016

Fears About Beef and Eggs Wane

Washington DC - It was not too long ago that kosher consumers were paying the price for a shortage of cattle, higher prices for feed and a shortage of chickens to produce eggs. This resulted in higher prices over the Passover holiday with concerns that the situation would further deteriorate causing prices to rise again. But the news for beef and eggs of late has not been bad. Bumper grains crops have reduced costs to feed animals, and cattle ranchers have been expanding their herds. The stabilization and even slight drop in beef prices could not have come at a better time as barbecue season is just around the corner. EEggs

gg supplies are returning to normal, with wholesale prices nearing a five-year low. The cost of making everything from quiches to cakes is lower than before avian influenza killed some 35 million laying hens and the government spent $1 billion to prevent the disease from spreading. Not only have shortages disappeared, but there are signs of an emerging glut. U.S. prices have tumbled 75 percent from a record in August, after the biggest bird-flu outbreak ever forced farmers to destroy flocks.

Since then, the laying-hen population has rebounded faster than expected. Meanwhile, demand has languished, from home chefs to food makers. As supply increased, a carton of a dozen eggs slid to 59 cents as of April 23, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has cut its 2016 forecast for average prices in New York seven times in as many months.

Production of table eggs, about 80 percent of the supply, reached 613 million dozen in March, up 5.4 percent from December and the biggest increase to start a year since at least 1994, according to the most recent government data.