Thanksgiving Is Going To Be More Expensive This Year — And It's Not Just Because of Inflation Turkey prices are 73% higher this year than last and are likely to stay that way through the holiday season.
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Turkey is 73% more expensive this year than last, but the hike isn't just due to inflation. An ongoing outbreak of bird flu will likely make turkeys scarce and subsequently hike up prices even more, CNBC reported.
Bird flu usually spreads during colder months, but farmers reported an increasing number of cases dating back to July — the time when producers are typically breeding for the holiday season.
According to USDA data, 47.7 million birds across 42 states have been affected this year. The last outbreak was in 2015, with 50 million birds affected, a number this year's outbreak is quickly approaching and could surpass.
The impact of bird flu is catastrophic for turkey producers, as the best way to control the spread is to euthanize entire flocks, which typically consist of 15,000 birds.
"These viruses are occurring with a higher level of frequency," Walter Kunisch, a senior commodities strategist at Hilltop Securities, told CNBC. "It seems like this year the HPAI is more acute. It's certainly more widespread in terms of the geography."
With millions of turkeys already affected, on top of other rising costs due to supply chain delays and inflation, prices are likely to stay high throughout the holiday season, making the Thanksgiving staple more of a luxury than a given.