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USDA: Table Egg Production Forecast At 6.6 Billion Dozen In 2011

Table egg production is expected to increase only slightly in 2011, reaching 6.6 billion dozen, up from the 6.5 billion dozen produced in 2010. The increase in production is expected to be spread out fairly evenly throughout the year and is expected to come from small increases in the number of hens in the table egg flock, combined with relatively little change in the rate of eggs produced per bird. The number of birds in the table egg flock was higher in 4 of the 6 months in the second half of 2010, and the flock is expected to remain above year-earlier levels through the first several months of 2011. While the prices for almost all feed components have risen rapidly in the last several months, egg prices are expected to get some support from higher prices for beef and pork.

Hatching egg production for 2011 is forecast at 1.07 billion dozen, basically unchanged from 2010, reflecting, slowing growth in broiler production as large increases in grain prices pressure integrator margins. The reduction in production is expected to be in the second through the fourth quarters, with production in the first quarter of 2011 being slightly higher than the previous year.

Table egg production reached 1.66 billion dozen in fourth-quarter 2010, giving a total for the year of 6.52 billion dozen, up less than 1 percent from the previous year. Table egg production was higher in 9 months in 2010 and only fell in October and November. Production of hatching eggs totaled 1.07 billion dozen in 2010, as production was slightly higher in all four quarters. The increase in hatching egg production was due primarily to higher production of meat-type eggs and the number of hens in the broiler-breeder flock averaging over 2 percent higher in 2010 than the previous year. The size of  the-broiler-breeder flock was higher throughout 2010 than in the previous year, in contrast to 2009, where the flock size was lower through most of the year than in 2008.

With only a small increase in egg production and a strong gain in exports, domestic wholesale table egg prices averaged just over $1.06 per dozen in 2010, up 3 percent from the previous year. Prices in fourth-quarter 2010 averaged $1.23 per dozen, a gain of 4.7 percent from fourth-quarter 2009. In January 2011, table egg prices declined to around $1.03 per dozen in the New York market, partially due to seasonal drops in demand after the New Year. However, by early February 2011, prices had strengthened somewhat, to just over $1.10 per dozen. With some growth forecast in production and an expected less robust export trade, wholesale table egg prices are expected to average $0.98 to $1.04 per dozen in 2011.

Egg Exports Forecast at 247 Million Dozen for 2011 After increasing by 7 percent to 258 million dozen in 2010, a result of strong demand for table eggs and egg products, total egg exports are expected to decline by 4 percent in 2011 to 247 million dozen.

Although domestic prices are expected to decline some in 2011, the decline in egg exports is expected to come from smaller shipments of egg products to EU countries. Higher shipments of egg products to EU countries had been a major factor in higher egg exports in 2010.

Source: USDA

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