- As egg prices rise in the US some Americans are attempting to save money by purchasing them in Mexico and bringing them back across the border
- Bringing eggs back into the US is illegal and this has led to a sharp increase in seizures at the US-Mexico border
- US Customs and Border Protection say egg seizures have risen by 91% in El Paso, 301% in Laredo, 333% in Tucson, and 368% in San Diego compared to last year
The price of eggs has risen so much over the past year that Americans are now resorting to smuggling them across the US-Mexico border.
A lingering bird flu outbreak, combined with soaring feed, fuel and labor costs, has led to US egg prices more than doubling over the past year, and hatched a lot of sticker shock on grocery aisles.
The national average price for a dozen eggs hit $4.25 in December, up from $1.78 a year earlier, according to the latest government data.
Customs data through January 17 shows that the number of eggs being seized has increased 91 percent at the El Paso, Texas field office, 301 percent in Laredo, Texas 333 percent in Tucson, Arizona and 368 percent in San Diego, California compared to the same period the previous year.
As egg prices rise in the US some Americans are attempting to save money by purchasing them in Mexico and bringing them back across the border
One dozen eggs cost $1.78 in December 2021 rising to a high of $4.25 in December 2022
Bringing eggs back into the US from Mexico is illegal and has led to a surge in the amount being confiscated at the border. Pictured the El Paso, Texas, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico border
Bringing eggs back into the US from Mexico is illegal and had led to a surge in the amount being confiscated at the southern border.
Most of the eggs being seized involve cartons of 30-eggs that travelers bought for their own personal use because of substantially lower prices in Mexican stores.
California, Texas and Arizonan residents living near the border often buy groceries in Mexican stores, but some agricultural products, including raw eggs, are not allowed to be imported into the US due to the risk of spreading Newcastle Disease and avian flu.
In the majority of cases, people are often unaware of such restrictions with eggs being seized from travelers who declared their purchase to inspectors.
Those who did so were not fined but there have been some instances where the eggs were undeclared and travelers were slapped with penalties.
The price for a dozen eggs has risen from $1.46 in January 2020 to $4.25 in December 2022
A lingering bird flu outbreak, combined with soaring feed, fuel and labor costs, has led to U.S. egg prices more than doubling over the past year, and hatched a lot of sticker shock in stores.The price of eggs in the US has been significantly higher in the past year, with prices in December being 60 percent more expensive than in 2021, according to the Labor Department’s consumer price index.
The cost has gone up far more so than other foods such as chicken or turkey — because egg farmers were hit harder by bird flu and the subsequent destruction of hen flocks.
More than 43 million of the 58 million birds slaughtered over the past year to control the virus have been egg-laying chickens, including some farms with more than a million birds apiece in major egg-producing states like Iowa.
However, there has been some relief for consumers as the wholesale price of eggs has slightly decreased over the past month.
In some places, it can even be hard to find eggs on the shelves. But egg supplies overall are holding up because the total flock is only down about 5 percent from from its normal size of around 320 million hens.