Egg Products (Dec 8): Shell eggs broken totaled 173 million dozen during October 2005, up 5 percent from October a year ago but 3 percent below the 178 million broken last month. During calendar year 2005 through October, shell eggs broken totaled 1.72 billion dozen, up 7 percent from the 1.60 billion dozen broken in the comparable period in 2004. Total edible liquid from eggs broken in 2005 was 2.22 billion pounds, up 8 percent from 2004.

Chickens and Eggs (Dec 22): U.S. commercial egg production in November 2005 totaled 6.48 billion table eggs and 60 million egg-type hatching eggs. There were 291 million layers producing table-type eggs, and 2.61 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs.

Egg-type chicks hatched during November 2005 totaled 32.8 million, down 15 percent from November 2004. Eggs in incubators totaled 34.7 million on December 1, 2005, down 3 percent from a year ago. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 181,000 during November 2005, down 20 percent from November 2004.

Oil Crops (Dec 12): The USDA cut the November forecast of 2005/06 soybean exports to 1,020 million bushels versus 1,075 million previously. Because of the forecast reduction in soybean exports, ending stocks are seen rising to 405 million bushels, which would be the largest since 1986/87. Although soybean prices are likely to decline by next spring, farm sales earlier this year will help support the season-average farm price within the forecast range of $5.00-$5.70 per bushel. Soybean exports from Brazil for 2005/06 are projected up 1 million metric tons this month to 25.0 million based on seasonally strong shipments. A moderately lower crush is forecast trimming soybean meal exports from Brazil to not quite 14 million tons. The forecast of 2005/06 soybean oil exports is also trimmed back to 2.6 million tons.

U.S. soybean demand rarely declines in years when there is a supply increase. The current season may be an exception due to the difficulty of absorbing such a large domestic harvest, as well as an unusual divergence in the seasonal pattern of foreign exports. As of December 1, cumulative soybean export inspections were 316 million bushels. Not only is this pace well off last year’s record of 400 million bushels, but it is the lowest volume for this date in 7 years. The outlook for a major recovery in export shipments is growing dimmer, as the outstanding sales are also a disappointing 62 million bushels behind last year’s pace. Most of the shortfall in export commitments is due to the reductions to China and the European Union by 62 million and 58 million bushels, respectively.

Feed Outlook (Dec 13): Feed grain supplies for 2005/06 are down 0.2 million tons from November, but up 6.9 million metric tons from 2004/05. The large carry-in from the record 2004 corn crop was the principle reason for the supply increase. Total use of feed grains was lowered this month, as both corn and sorghum exports were reduced and more than exceeded the increase in barley exports. Exports for 2005/06 are still up 2 million tons from 2004/05.

Corn supplies are unchanged this month, as no changes were made in beginning stocks, production, or imports. Supplies for 2005/06 are up 378 million bushels from the last marketing year because of the large carry-in. Domestic use of corn was unchanged this month. Total corn use was down this month because of lower expected exports.