More than 1,250 billion eggs were produced worldwide in 2013, from a laying flock of approximately 6.9 billion hens. The volume of production represented almost 67 million metric tons in terms of weight (Figure 1). From 2000-13, world egg production has increased by 31 percent, or an average rate of 2.4 percent per year.
More than 90 percent of global egg production now comprises eggs from hens. Out of about 66.5 million metric tons of hen eggs now produced annually worldwide, the Asia-Pacific region contributes more than 39.5 million metric tons or about 59.5 percent. Europe supplies nearly 11 million metric tons or 16 percent of the global total. North America contributes approximately 6 million metric tons or 9 percent; South America supplies nearly 4.5 million metric tons (more than 6.5 percent); and Africa is the source of 3 million metric tons (4.5 percent) (Figure 2).
In Asia, data shows egg production has come a long way over the past 50 years. China, which produced just 732,000 metric tons of eggs 50 years ago, increased total output of all egg types by 0.5 percent from 2012 to 28.76 million metric tons in 2013, according to the National Statistics Bureau. This is equivalent to about 575 billion eggs compared to 572 billion in 2012, making it a top producer along with the U.S. India and Japan rank third and fourth, respectively, with short-term egg production growth rates of 3 percent to 4 percent forecast in India. Japanese ministry of agriculture statistics show that Japan has managed to maintain its annual egg production at about 2.5 million metric tons (Figure 3), despite a 5 percent reduction in the number of productive hens since 2008.
Domestic production of table eggs in the U.S. has increased from 79.1 billion in 2011 and 80.67 billion in 2012 to reach 82.59 billion in 2013, on reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). For the table eggs sector, current output is from a productive flock of about 288.25 million laying hens. The nearly 151 million laying hens housed by the top 11 egg companies in the U.S. at the end of 2013 represent just over half of this U.S. total table egg layer flock. Looking forward, USDA baseline projections suggest that 85.8 billion table eggs may be produced nationally by 2015 (Figure 4). The U.S. all-eggs total of about 95.35 billion in 2013 compared to production of almost 93 billion eggs in 2012, and it came from approximately 345 million layers. The number of laying hens in the United States in July 2014 showed a year-on-year increase of 2 percent up to 352 million hens.
Mexico in 2013 produced 2.52 million metric tons of eggs, representing an increase of 44.5 percent since 2000, according to data quoted by national association UNA. (Table 2).
Europe’s changing place in global egg production
The European Union would appear in second place on the world list, having produced 7.2 million metric tons of eggs in 2013, if the outputs of all 28 member states were combined into a single total. EU egg production is concentrated mainly in seven countries that account for 75 percent of all eggs produced in the region (Figure 5).
A review of European developments in egg production and trade was presented to the International Egg Commission (IEC)’s business conference, held in Vienna in 2014, by IEC statistical analyst professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst.
While global egg production was growing by 28.3 percent or 14.4 million metric tons between 2000 and 2012, he commented, Europe’s producers achieved an increase of 11 percent or about 1 million metric tons during the same period despite turbulent recent times for their business.
Inside the European Union community, the increase in production from 2000 to 2012 was 6.3 percent. Windhorst’s report showed that this relative recovery of European egg production had its roots mainly in the dynamics of some Eastern European countries. The Eastern region of the EU experienced the highest absolute and relative growth, and the Northern and Southern regions also added to their production, whereas Western Europe recorded a decrease as its output fell by 9.3 percent during the same period.