The Egg Industry Center has released U.S. flock trend summary for 2017. In the U.S. egg industry statistical report summary, the center concluded that in November 2017 U.S. table egg layer numbers -- 318.2 million -- is five percent larger than last year’s number at the same time of 316.7 million.

As of November, Iowa led the nation in egg production with 54.3 million laying hens. Both Indiana and Ohio had approximately 30 million birds in laying production. California no longer sits in the top five states in egg production as Texas moved up with 17.8 million layers compared to California's 12.6 million layers.

The December 1 rate of lay in the U.S. was just over 80 percent which is 0.2 percent lower than the same date in 2016.

The number of eggs exported in November 2017 was 22 percent higher than last year, however, it was down slightly from the previous month.

Shell eggs broken for products totaled 6.3 million cases which is 2.9 percent less than the same time a year ago, November 2016.


Cage-free production continued to increase from 2016 to 2017. The report concludes that as of October, cage-free egg production accounts for 15.8 percent of the U.S. flock's production, despite the nation’s two largest egg companies slowing down production of cage-free eggs. In October, Rose Acre Farms stated they would slow down on cage-free production and construction. Also, during its earnings report for the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, which was released on October 2, Cal-Maine Foods CEO Dolph Baker said that because the supply of cage-free eggs is not consistent with the demand, the company has adjusted its cage-free egg production levels in line with the current customer demand.

Market forecast

According to the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, December 2017 summary from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eggs are expected to have a first-half 2018 price increases of 17.7 percent. This would reflect the previous year’s low prices that prevailed due to record-level supplies.

Production growth, 0.9 percent, in the first half of 2018 is expected to be moderate as producers continue to recover from margins that were relatively low until recently the report said. Hatchery data, indicators for future production, have revealed that producers may expand their flocks.

USDA is projecting that 320 million dozen eggs will be exported in 2018.