U.K. egg production over the coming months is set to stabilize, following a period of slight growth over the start of the year.
Latest figures from the country’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reveal that 6.9 million eggs were packed in packing stations during the second quarter of 2015, a 0.7 percent increase on the previous quarter and 2 percent higher than the second quarter of 2014.
Farm-gate prices during the quarter, however, were lower, at GBP0.82 (US$1.27) per dozen, a fall of 4.3 percent on the same quarter of 2014.
The number of eggs bought by U.K. processors during the period contacted by 16 percent compared to last year, and stood at 1.09 million cases, or 24,000 metric tons. Liquid eggs accounted for 68 percent of total production.
Data for May 2015 shows that the U.K. imported fewer eggs and fewer egg products, with the totals imported 29 percent and 18 percent lower, respectively, compared with May 2014. Shell egg exports, however, were 5 percent higher, but exports of processed egg exports contracted by 3 percent.
DEFRA notes that eggs produced by hens in enriched colony systems accounted for 52 percent of total throughput last year, up one percentage point on 2013. Free range eggs accounted for 43 percent of throughput, down one percentage point. The proportion of eggs produced in the differing systems has changed little over the last four years, it adds.