If new data from January and February are any indication, this is going to be a big year for U.S. egg exports. Shell egg exports for the two months were up 147% from the same period in 2006 on a volume basis and 134% on a value basis. Just under 15 million eggs were shipped abroad for the first two months of 2007 compared with 6 million a year ago. Reason for the surge: largely the surprising strength of orders from mostly Europe through the United States Egg Marketers.
Exports were also up on the egg products side—which has been increasing as a percentage of the whole in recent years—though not quite as staggering, USDA data show. Egg exports on a value basis during January and February were up 37% to $26 million.
Total egg exports for 2006 were $181 million, excluding hatching eggs ($37 million for table eggs and $144 million for egg products). The total represents a 12.5% increase over 2005’s $161 million ($38 million for table eggs and $123 for egg products), and a 58.8% increase from 2002’s total of $114 million ($30 million for table eggs and $84 million for egg products).
Presently, about 3% of all U.S. eggs are exported, but export officials expect that figure to grow in the years ahead.