The April 6, 2009 layer flock projection and economic commentary produced by Don Bell, University of California, Riverside contains the following updated statistics and projections:

  • The hatch-to-date covering January/February 2009 is approximately 3.5% below the corresponding placements for the first two months of 2008 with an average of approximately 37 million pullet chicks placed per month.
  • Projected pullet placement into layer houses through July 2009 exceeds the equivalent seven month period in 2008 by 1.7 million.
  • The average flock size for the first two months of 2009 is 283.7 million hens or 0.1% greater than in 2008.
  • Total egg production for the first two months of 2009 was 12,499 million or 0.5% below the 2008 figure, confirming a restraint in expansion.
  • 24.6% of the flock had been molted at the end of February 2009 which is 1.1% lower than the value for the first two months of 2008.
  • Hen slaughter for the first two months of 2009 averaged 4.85 million or 17% lower than in 2008.
  • Shell eggs broken amounted to 5.183 million cases for the first two months of 2009 compared to 5.395 million cases in 2008, a reduction of 3.8%.
  • Urner-Barry Midwest Large egg price averaged 112 cents per dozen for the first three months of 2009 which is 31% lower than the average of 162 cents per dozen for the three-month period in 2008.
  • Urner-Barry Midwest breaker egg prices declined by 56% from 108 cents per dozen for the first quarter of 2008 to 47.4 cents per dozen for the first quarter of 2009.
  • The estimated cost of egg production for the first quarter of 2009 declined by 11.7% from 69.5 cents per dozen to 58.2 cents per dozen.
  • Hen numbers will decline slightly from a March value of 283.2 million through September then will increase to 284.6 million and 285.6 million respectively in November and December 2009.
  • The projection for Urner-Barry Midwest large will decline from 105 cents per dozen to a low of 85.1 cents per dozen in June thereafter rising to 98.1 cents per dozen and 95.8 cents per dozen in November and December respectively. The projection for January and February shows an increase to 112.7 cents per dozen based partly on economic recovery and also a reduction in hen flock to 284.4 million and 283.4 million respectively for first two months in 2010. Price projections have been revised downward from the previous monthly report.

USDA-ERS values published in the Livestock and Poultry Situation Report for April project an annual production of 6,455 million dozen for 2009 or 0.8% higher than 2008.  Egg consumption is estimated at 247.1 per capita compared to 248.9 per capita in 2008.