The monthly egg statistics for the U.S. industry covering the period September-October 2008 were released by Don Bell, University of California, in mid-December. 

Twelve significant findings are:

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  1. Total pullet hatch for the year-to-date, was 5.4% higher than in the corresponding period in 2007, representing an additional 10 million pullets.
  2. The 24-month previous hatch which is highly correlated with future egg prices showed a 3.8% increase in October with an accumulated hatch now amounting to 8.2 million more pullets compared to the corresponding period in 2007.
  3. A total of 208 million pullets will have been placed in rearing houses by the end of 2008. This is approximately 10 million more than in 2007. Based on recent placements, it is estimated that the first three months of 2009 pullet transfers will increase by 3.8%.
  4. The average number of hens in lay for 2008 to date has amounted to 280.1 million, a 1.5% decrease over the first 10 months of 2007.
  5. Table egg production through October attained 63,800 million eggs a minus 0.4% reduction from the corresponding period in 2007.
  6. Through September 2008, an average of 24.6% of the flocks had been molted representing a decline of 2.9% over 2007.
  7. Through October 2008, average monthly flock depletion averaged 5.97%, a 27% increase over the corresponding value for 2007.
  8. Through October 2008, 5.75 million cases of eggs were consigned to breaking, a 2.8% increase over 2007.
  9. The Urner-Barry (U-B) Mid-West, L-grade egg price averaged $1.32 per dozen for the first 10 months of 2008 compared to an average of $1.17 for calendar 2007. The ten-month comparison between 2007 and 2008 represented a 23% increase in the U-B price.
  10. The 10-month average U-B breaker egg price attained 87.6 cents per dozen compared to 66.9 cents per dozen in 2007.
  11. The 11-month average production cost in 2008 attained 65.8 cents, approximately 15% above 2007. Escalation was mainly attributed to an increase in feed ingredient costs which peaked mid-year corresponding to a July production cost of 73.1 cents which was 24.6% above the value in July 2007.
  12. Average U.S. cost of production through November was estimated at 65.8 cents per dozen compared to a USDA all-grade wholesale egg price of 94.1 cents per dozen. Profit per hen through November 2008 was $5.65.