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About eggs.

Large Production Keeps Lid on Prices

Total egg production in 1992 was about 5.9 billion dozen. Hatching eggs increased about 2 percent. Table egg production also increased 2 percent from a year earlier to slightly over 5 billion dozen, the largest output since 1988. Fourth-quarter production was about 2 percent above a year earlier. The table egg flock continues relatively large, at 237.7 million layers on December 1, about 1 percent above a year earlier.

While New York wholesale egg prices in the first half of 1992 were 12-26 percent below 1991, prices improved in the second half, aided by strong exports. Fourth-quarter prices averaged 71.4 cents per dozen, compared with 76.8 cents a year earlier. Net returns for egg producers improved following price moves above breakeven in the third quarter. Net returns for the fourth quarter were around 10 cents per dozen. For the year, however, returns averaged just under 2 cents, compared with 12.5 cents in 1991.

Flat Production and Improved Egg Prices Expected in 1993

Total egg production in 1993 is expected to be 5.8-5.9 billion dozen, unchanged from last year. Hatching egg production is projected to increase around 3 percent. Table egg production is likely to average fractionally below 1992.

Wholesale New York egg prices will likely improve in 1993, to 69-75 cents per dozen, 6-8 cents above 1992, reflecting expected lower per capita supplies. Higher prices are expected for the entire year, with the largest quarter-over-quarter increases expected in the second half. Improved and positive net returns are expected for 1993, given expected stronger egg prices and lower feed costs.

Retail egg prices will likely average in the low 90's, about a nickel above this year. Breaking of eggs for use in various forms of egg products continues to grow, and will represent 25-26 percent of per capita egg consumption in 1993. Per capita egg consumption of around 231 is expected, a slight decrease from 1992, when counter to the trend, per capita consumption rose to nearly 235 eggs.

Egg Product Use Rises

Total use of shell eggs in the production of liquid, frozen, and dried egg products increased about 8 percent in 1992, to around 1.2 billion dozen. Imports supplied an estimated 850,000 dozen equivalent in 1992, compared with 682,527 dozen in 1991. Imports remained relatively low, reflecting general abundance of competitively priced domestic breaker eggs. Exports of egg products were little changed at about 72 million dozen equivalent in 1992. The volume of domestically produced eggs going to breakers increased about 8 percent in 1992. Egg products represented about 23 percent of 1992 egg consumption, about 54-55 eggs per capita. The increased use of eggs in processed form is expected to continue in 1993.

Liquid egg products continue as the most common form of processed eggs. About 41 percent of the breaker eggs were used in liquid form, compared with 38 percent in 1991. Dried and frozen egg products in 1992 represented about 32 percent and 27 percent, respectively, compared with 34 and 28 percent, respectively, of breaker egg use in 1991.

Lower Prices Encourage Exports

Egg exports were strong in 1992, totaling about 155 million dozen equivalent, valued at $130-$140 million. Japan is the largest market, taking about 25 percent of the total value, mostly as egg products. Egg product exports made up about 37 percent of the total value of egg exports. Increased competition in 1992 came from increases in Japanese egg production and from subsidized EC egg products. Other competitors in the Japanese egg market are Canada, Brazil, Thailand, and Israel.

Hatching egg exports, which declined in 1992, made up about 33 percent of export value. About one-third went to Canada. Table eggs, which make up about 30 percent of egg export value, are estimated as slightly higher. Sales to Canada, where production is restrained by quotas, are about steady, but exports were up to the Middle East, and late in the year, to Mexico. The Mexican Government granted licenses for substantial imports when domestic egg prices increased sharply.

Exports are being aided by increased sales of table eggs to Hong Kong and the Middle East through the EEP. Table egg sales under EEP increased to 38.3 million dozen during 1992, compared with 18.3 million dozen in 1991.

Export Strength To Continue

Egg exports are expected to continue strong in 1993, at around 156 million dozen equivalent. Factors influencing this market include continued competitive U.S. prices, continuation of EEP sales and new EEP initiatives, increased exports of egg products to Japan, and steady exports to Canada.

The U.S. is maintaining a lead in supplying egg products to Japan, but competition is strong. Hong Kong is expected to continue to be a big market for U.S. table eggs, but China remains the largest supplier.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:egg industry
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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