But it turns out that Cal-Maine Foods, the largest U.S. producer, more than doubled its revenue last quarter to nearly a billion dollars because of sharply higher egg prices — and profits surged 718%. And production wasn’t down. Cal-Maine, which controls about 20% of the domestic egg market, said the total number of eggs it sold rose by 1%, CNN reported
The company said the average selling price for a dozen eggs in the quarter ending February 25 was $3.30. That’s more than twice what a dozen cost a year earlier, when its average price was $1.61, Cal-Maine said. Thus, net income soared to $323.2 million from just $39.5 million a year ago, CNN reported.
In January, the cost of a dozen eggs surpassed the price of a pound of beef, marking the first time that’s happened since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began keeping data
in 1980. The average price of a dozen large Grade A eggs ran at $4.82 in January 2023, while a pound of ground beef was $4.64, the BLS said. In January 2022, eggs were $1.93, and beef was $4.77, but egg prices have soared by 70% in the last year alone, according to the bureau.
Farm Action, a farmer-led advocacy group, says the “real culprit” behind sky-high prices is a “collusive scheme” among top U.S. egg producers to fix prices to gouge consumers. In a January letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Farm Action said
the alleged collusion has helped egg producers to “extract egregious profits reaching as high as 40%.”