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USDA did not predict egg prices would be $12 a dozen by this fall

Social media posts claiming the USDA predicted egg prices will be $12 a dozen by fall 2022 are false. A USDA spokesperson says its researchers did not predict this.
Credit: polack - stock.adobe.com

The prices of gas, food, and most other goods and services surged 8.6% in May, raising inflation to a new 40-year high, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. The new inflation rate is the most significant yearly increase since December 1981.

According to the report, prices jumped 1% from April to May, much faster than the 0.3% increase from March to April. Behind the jump were much higher prices for food, energy, rent, airline tickets, and new and used cars.

In May, the average price for a dozen eggs in the U.S. was around $2.86, which is the highest price since September 2015, BLS data show. Posts on social media began to circulate in early June claiming the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted egg prices will be $12 a dozen by fall 2022.

THE QUESTION

Did the USDA predict egg prices will be $12 a dozen by this fall?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, the USDA did not predict egg prices would be $12 a dozen by this fall. 

WHAT WE FOUND

In an email, a USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) spokesperson told VERIFY the agency did not predict egg prices would rise to $12 per dozen by fall 2022. That’s because the ERS, which anticipates trends and emerging issues in U.S. food and agriculture, does not predict or publish retail egg prices, the spokesperson said.

The ERS does, however, publish forecasts for wholesale egg prices. In the USDA’s May report on world agricultural supply and demand estimates, wholesale egg prices are forecast to be around $1.70 per dozen in the fourth quarter of the year. 

The ERS also provides a forecast of changes to the consumer price index and producer price index for foods. In its May report, the ERS says an ongoing outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has affected over 38 million birds, reduced the U.S. egg-layer flock and drove a 10.3% increase in retail egg prices in April. 

The agency also notes in its report that retail egg prices are predicted to increase between 19.5% and 20.5% in 2022. That means that the current average price of a dozen eggs, which was $2.86 in May, is forecasted to rise somewhere between 55 or 58 cents, or around $3.42 to $3.44 per dozen, sometime during the rest of the year. That’s not anywhere near the $12 per dozen the viral claim suggests. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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