Both layer numbers and egg production continue to be below year-earlier levels. Table egg type layers were 2% lower than previous-year levels on May 1, with eggs produced during April also 2% lower than the same period in 2006, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In 2006, by contrast, layers on May 1 were 2% higher than the preceding year.
Looking at the top five states in layer numbers, all showed a reduction in numbers during April 2007 compared to the previous year. In table egg layers in flocks 30,000 and above, Iowa was down 1 percent in layer numbers; Ohio down 4 percent; Indiana, down 1 percent; Pennsylvania, down 5 percent; and California, down 2%.
Egg type chicks hatched during April 2007, meanwhile, were up 12 percent from the preceding year.
In a separate USDA report by the department’s Economic Research Service, egg prices are forecast to average 91 to 93 cents (New York, cents per dozen) in the second quarter 2007; 87 to 93 cents in the third quarter; and 93 cents to $1.01 in the fourth quarter for an annual average of 94 to 98 cents. Annual prices for 2008 are forecast at 91 to 99 cents, with first quarter 2008 prices estimated to be 97 cents to $1.05.
By comparison, egg prices averaged 71.8 cents in 2006, 65.5 cents in 2005, and 82.2 cents in 2004.