Because egg producers have been slow to expand, the price outlook for 2008 continues to be bright. Table egg output was actually down 1.3 percent in 2007 despite record prices, and is expected to be up a modest 1.2 percent this year, thus prices are expected to remain relatively strong, $1.07 to $1.14/dozen, New York wholesale prices. That’s the view of Joel Greene, USDA livestock and poultry analyst, who spoke at USDA’s 2008 Outlook Forum last month.

Throughout 2007, the number of table layer hens was below a year earlier, and the number of layers remained below a year ago to start 2008.

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On the export front, egg and products shipped reached 251 million dozen last year, shell egg equivalent, the highest since 1996, with shipments to the EU-27 more than doubling in 2007. But exports are forecast to decline to 230 million dozen in 2008 as high prices slow demand, Green said.

Eggs broken declined 1.3 percent in 2007, as egg prices soared, but are expected to increase 1.2 percent this year as prices moderate, Greene added.