Any drop in retail egg prices due to the Echo Lake Foods fire in Burlington is expected to be short-lived.
The giant egg processing plant bought two million eggs a day from farmers, mainly in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Now that it's stopped, producers are faced with a temporary glut, tilting supply-and-demand laws against them, but in favor of consumers.
But egg industry analyst Simon Shane (of egg-cite.com) says producers should have already found new buyers. He also says the market for eggs produced for retail sale and eggs produced for processing normally don't impact one another.
“So really, we have two [separate] supply systems, and two [distinct] market systems. One does influence the other in extremes, but this is not a very large impact on national or regional production.”
Echo Lake Foods and state and local officials promise to get the Burlington plant up and running again. Shane says he hopes that can happen in a year-and-a-half or less.