Avian flu spikes egg price

The highly contagious avian flu is forcing US farmers to cull millions of egg-laying hens, reducing egg supplies and raising prices.

According to the USDA's daily Midwest regional egg report, retailers paid $2.80 to $2.89 for a dozen large grade A white eggs on Thursday.

According to Brian Earnest, lead protein industry analyst at Cobank, which provides financial services to agribusiness, that's more than double the $1.25 they cost in March.

Earnest noted that the Midwest prices serve as a national benchmark for large white eggs.

During peak demand periods like Easter, these prices can drop to around $2, he said

The flu is "primarily an animal health issue," the CDC says, adding that "the risk to the general public's health from current H5N1 bird flu viruses is low."

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