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Deadly Avian Flu Sends Egg Prices Soaring

The threat pushes up prices as Easter approaches

A deadly and highly infectious avian flu is forcing US farmers to kill millions of egg-laying hens, reducing the country's egg supply and driving up prices.

On Thursday, retailers paid between $2.80 and $2.89 for a dozen large grade A white eggs in the Midwest, according to the USDA's daily Midwest regional egg report. That's more than double the roughly $1.25 they cost in March, according to data compiled by Brian Earnest, lead protein industry analyst at Cobank, which provides financial services to agribusiness.

Typically, large white eggs in that region cost somewhere between $0.70 and $1.10 per dozen, said Earnest, who noted that the Midwest prices serve as a national benchmark. Around Easter, when demand is high, those prices can reach about $2, he said — far lower than they were on Thursday.

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