California consumers could be paying as much as 90 cents a dozen more for eggs by next week, according to a USDA market report that was posted at CapitalPress.com today.
Prices right now are ranging about $2.20 to $2.60 a dozen, depending on the type, so a 90-cent increase would be steep.
Egg price hikes have been anticipated as California's Proposition 2 in 2008 was set to take effect Jan. 1. As the Capital Press' Dan Wheat has reported, Chad Gregory of United Egg Producers has predicted the larger-cage requirements could cause an egg shortage. From what I gather, many California growers are complying with the new standards by raising fewer chickens in existing cage facilities. The number of egg-laying chickens in California has dropped by 23 percent in the last two years, according to NASS. Fewer chickens means fewer eggs and higher prices.
Watch the Capital Press' website and this week's paper for my story.