In the first half of 2011, production of table eggs was 3.3 billion dozen, up about 1% from the first half of 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, production of hatching eggs fell by 0.7% compared with 2010 numbers.

The decrease in hatching egg production was chiefly the result of the gradual decline in broiler chick production for growout, according to the USDA. Hatching egg production in the first half of 2011 was 532 million dozen. Production of table eggs in the second half of 2011 is expected to be about even with 2010, and production is expected to be lower on a year-over-year basis in the first two quarters of 2012. Production of hatching eggs, especially those from meat-type birds, is expected to decline in the second half of 2011 as broiler chick production continues to be below 2010 numbers.

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Even with higher table egg production in the second quarter of 2011, prices for eggs remained strong and averaged almost $1.07 per dozen, up 24 cents from the second quarter of 2010. With little or no growth expected in the second half of 2011, prices are expected to be above 2010 numbers in the third quarter of 2011 at $1.04 to $1.08 per dozen. However, with the weak economy, egg prices in the fourth quarter of 2011 are expected to be lower than 2010 at $1.12 to $1.18 per dozen. The weak economy is expected to provide less of a seasonal boost in prices than in other years.