New York (CNN) — Egg prices continue to rise, and a lot, in the supermarket.
In January, egg prices rose 8.5% compared to the previous month, according to inflation data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Until January of this year, egg prices shot up by 70.1%.
A highly contagious and deadly bird flu has wreaked havoc on the egg market, limiting the domestic supply. That, added to the higher food and transportation costs for producers, have raised prices. And some growers are also increasing their own profits amid the turmoil, prompting some to demand a federal investigation into a possible price hike.
On the wholesale market, egg prices reached an all-time high in December and have been falling steadily ever since. But so far, those declines have not trickled down to consumers, as seen in the January numbers.
And compared to other grocery items, egg prices increased more dramatically.
But many other foods have also become more expensive this year. The prices of some dairy products rose sharply: butter shot up 26.3% and margarine rose a whopping 44.7%.
Many other staple foods have become very expensive in the last year. Flour rose 20.4%, bread is 14.9% more expensive, sugar increased 13.5% and milk 11% more. Chicken prices rose 10.5% and overall fruit and vegetable prices rose 7.2%. Hot dogs rose 11.4% and breakfast sausages rose 10.1%.
But there were some items that got cheaper. Bacon prices fell 3.9% and raw beef steaks fell 3%.
Overall, groceries were up 11.3% over the course of the year, while menu prices were up 8.2%. Together, food prices rose 10.1% on the year, dwarfing headline inflation of 6.4%.
The government uses certain tools, such as interest rates, to try to curb price increases in general. But it has made limited attempts to control food prices.
In addition to disease, food prices are affected by climate change, as well as international crises such as the war in Ukraine, which has affected the world’s grain supply.
Grocery prices in January
In the month of January 2023, grocery prices rose 0.4% compared to December, adjusted for seasonal changes. Menu prices increased 0.6%, representing an overall monthly food increase of 0.5%.
Some individual items became more expensive. Ham prices rose 3%, citrus rose 2.8% and packaged biscuits rose 2.5%. Bananas rose 1.5% and rice 1.4%. Fresh fruit rose 0.8%.
But it’s not all bad news. There were many items whose prices went down last month.
The price of pork chops and hot dogs each fell 3.5%, and the prices of fresh vegetables fell 2.3%. Tomatoes in particular experienced a sharp drop, falling 7.7%. Butter fell 1.7% and milk 0.4%.