U.S. table egg production in the third quarter of 2011 was just over 1.65 billion dozen, up slightly from 2010 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On a year-over-year basis, table egg production has now risen in the last 11 consecutive quarters. With the number of table egg layers in production increasing from August, table egg production is expected to continue above 2010 in fourth-quarter 2011. However, overall table egg production in 2012 is expected to be only about even, as weaker egg prices, high grain costs and a slowly growing economy dampen expansion, according to the USDA.

Hatching egg production in the third quarter of 2011 was 264 million dozen, down 7 million dozen from 2010, a decrease of 2.6%. Hatching egg production is expected to be sharply lower in fourth-quarter 2011 as broiler producers cut back on production. The decrease in third-quarter 2011 was chiefly due to a lower number of meat-type hens as the demand for broiler chicks declined. Hatching egg production is expected to level off in the latter part of 2012 as broiler production starts to gradually expand. 


Although egg prices have been relatively volatile in 2011, egg and egg product exports have remained strong to a number of countries, according to USDA numbers. In September, total egg exports were the equivalent of 26.1 million dozen eggs, 9% higher than 2010. In September, exports of shell eggs fell slightly, but those declines were more than offset by strong increases in exports of egg products. The increase in exports is related to strong demand in a number of Asian countries and the weakness of the dollar against a number of other currencies.

Total egg exports in third-quarter 2011 totaled 70.6 million dozen on a shell egg equivalent basis, up 5% from the same period in 2010. With year-to-date exports down to Canada and a number of EU countries, the increases have come from higher shipments to Mexico and a number of Asian countries, particularly Japan and Hong Kong.

For more poultry statistics and information, see wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.