What's New ? - 2020

What's New ? - 2020

USA: The effect COVID-19 on the egg Industry

15 September, 2020

A study by agricultural economists at Michigan State University and Perdue University quantified the effects of COVID-19 on prices and volumes of shell-egg and egg-liquid sales by segments of the U.S. industry.
The study uses evidence from the egg industry to investigate how the shift from food-away-from-home and towards food-at-home affected the U.S. food supply chain. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic increased retail and farm-gate prices for table eggs by approximately 141% and 182%, respectively. In contrast, prices for breaking stock eggs-which are primarily used in foodservice and restaurants-fell by 67%. On April 3, 2020, the FDA responded by issuing temporary exemptions from certain food safety standards for breaking stock egg producers seeking to sell into the retail table egg market. This regulatory change rapidly pushed retail, farm-gate, and breaking stock prices towards their long-run pre-pandemic equilibrium dynamics. The pandemic reduced premiums for credence attributes, including cage-free, vegetarian-fed, and organic eggs, by as much as 34%. These premiums did not fully recover following the return to more "normal" price dynamics, possibly signaling that willingness-to-pay for animal welfare and environmental sustainability have fallen as consumers seek to meet basic needs during the pandemic.