Even though the average retail grade A egg price in October 2015 was 43% higher than the price on May 2015 ($1.96/dozen), the latest USDA/ERS retail egg price data indicate that the egg average price during October 2015 declined 5.3% to $2.81/dozen relative to the previous month record high ($2.97/dozen). Egg prices substantially increased this year (see Figure 1) as a result of the severe Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak. Overall 46.6 million layer chickens were lost during the outbreak. Figure 2 shows the drastic decline in the inventory of U.S. layer producing table eggs. May 1, 2015 inventory of U.S. layers producing table eggs dropped 2.7% to 296 million layers compared to the previous month. Moreover, June 1, 2015 inventory further declined to 270.2 million layers. Layer numbers started to rebound from the low levels in June, reaching an inventory of 279.5 million head on November 1, 2015, representing a 3.5% increase relative to the inventory in June, however inventory of layers on November 1 was down 8.7% year-over-year (306.2 million head).
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