The COVID-19 crisis may be in a lull, but an outbreak of bird flu is attacking U.S. poultry stocks and could result in higher prices on top of inflation.
NPR reported that the disease hit commercial flocks in Nebraska, Delaware, Maryland, South Dakota and Wisconsin, resulting in hundreds of thousands of chickens being destroyed.
Meanwhile, NPR noted, the price of chicken breasts averaged $3.63 per pound at U.S. supermarkets, up from $3.01 a week earlier and $2.42 at this time last year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture lists 64 confirmed instances of bird flu in commercial and backyard stocks this year. The outbreaks impacted turkey and other poultry besides chicken.
NPR reported that the last major outbreak of avian flu happened in 2014-2015 and resulted in 50 million chickens and turkeys dying or being destroyed.
Chicken breast prices increased 17% during that outbreak and prices for eggs and turkey soared, the report said, although certain chicken parts went down in price due to import controls at the same time.