There are only two things worse than a hen with an egg – a hen without an egg, or no hen at all.

The Dealer was reminded of this morsel of wisdom upon hearing the problems being endured by the good egg-devouring citizens of the US.

Egg prices have rocketed in the US over the past 12 months, as a combination of bird flu, soaring feed costs and labour shortages have left supermarkets and consumers scrambling for supplies.

A dozen eggs now costs $4.25 (€3.90), up from $1.72 (€1.58) in January last year.

The bird flu outbreak has seen 58m hens slaughtered, with egg supplies dropping by 3% compared to 2020 as a consequence.

This has resulted in 3.25bn fewer eggs being sold in the US last year, compared to the start of the decade. And, as we all know, a small deficit in supply can quickly lead to a spike in prices.

The Dealer hopes that the boys and girls in the EU Commission are keeping abreast of this real-life lesson in food economics.