Egg prices are expected to increase in the coming months as other countries want to increase the number they import from the U.S.

The heightened demand for U.S. eggs overseas comes as the Dutch egg supply was contaminated by misuse of an insecticide and Europe, Africa and East Asia deal with bird flu outbreaks.

Iowa State University professor Hongwei Xin directs the Egg Industry Center. “These AI (Avian Influeza) outbreaks in other countries, it’s very unfortunate for them, but it does benefit our industry somewhat,” Xin says. Iowa is, by far, the top egg producing state in the nation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a dozen eggs will cost about 30 cents more at the start of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017.

Xin says another factor in the price spike is Americans are eating more eggs. “We are at about 274 eggs per capita, per year. This is the highest of the past 38 years and it is, actually, anticipated to continue to increase into 2018,” Xin says. According to Xin, the growing demand is prompting producers to add hens to their flocks. That will eventually mean more eggs — lowering the price.

Xin adds that egg prices are seasonal and usually reach their peak during the winter holidays and again around Easter.

(Thanks to Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio)