What a difference a year makes. Exactly a year ago this column noted an oversupply of eggs had pushed egg and most egg product prices to multi-year if not record lows during the summer of 2016. Prices firmed slightly last December only to decline, although holding above summer lows, during the first quarter of 2017. Last week breaking egg prices were as much as six times the lows set in the summer of 2016, and graded eggs were as much as four times their summer lows of a year ago after surging the past three months.
Nest run breaking egg prices fell below 20c a dozen (breakeven around 50c) from June through November 2016, climbed to around 40c a dozen (low side of price range) in August 2017 then exploded to around 95c a dozen in late November, up about 150% from August. Grade A large eggs quoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture saw wider price swings in 2016 and through the summer of 2017 before also surging nearly 140% from August to December 2017.