The HPAI Stakes are Higher This Time

By Brian Earnest

September 1, 2022

Key Points

  • Seven years after the last outbreak, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza emerged again in 2022 in U.S. commercial poultry flocks. More than 40 million birds have been depopulated, disrupting supplies of eggs and turkey in particular
  • The shock to domestic markets has been more severe than in the 2014-15 outbreak, which is considered the largest HPAI outbreak in history. Despite somewhat smaller flock depopulations this time, prices of eggs have nearly tripled and turkey breast meat rose 60%, to record levels.
  • The view of poultry-importing countries seems to have changed markedly since the previous outbreaks as HPAI has become more common globally. Instead of blanket export bans, their approach is more measured.
  • Due to a variety of factors, including high labor and feed costs, egg and turkey supplies will most likely be slower to rebound and high prices will last longer.

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