Eggs feature heavily in the Mexican diet and per capita egg consumption in the country is already amongst the highest in the world, yet Mexicans are likely to eat even more eggs in 2021.

Per capita egg consumption in the country is expected to reach 24.5 kg - an increase of 4% - this year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service.

But what is driving this demand for eggs?

Consumers are looking to save money. Chicken meat and eggs were ranked as the nation’s favorite animal proteins of 2020 by consultancy Grupo Consultor de Mercados Agrícolas, as shoppers looked to cut their expenditure in the face of the economic crisis.

Figures from the country’s National Statistics and Geography Institute reveal that the economy shrank by 8.5% last year and unemployment rose.

Bank BBVA notes that Mexico’s financial support for businesses last year was amongst the lowest in Latin American and that, along with numerous companies, over 1.1 million jobs were lost. For 2021, it is forecasting only a slow recovery.

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Growth in Mexico may have picked up in the second half of last year, but the affordability of animal protein is expected to continue to be an issue this year and this will act to the benefit of the egg industry.

By year end, Mexico is expecting to be producing 3.1 million metric tons of eggs, an increase of 2%. This will, in part, be a reflection of the 1.2% expansion of the laying flock that occurred last year along with ongoing investments and modernization.

Return to international markets

Latin America’s leading egg producer is also expected to re-orientate its sales as the year progresses, once again paying greater attention to export markets.

Last year, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, eggs were directed towards the home market to satisfy higher demand. Consequently, exports of eggs and egg products contacted by 71%.

This year, however, as the country slowly returns to normal, producers will again increase their focus on overseas sales and exports are expected to rise by 52%, compared to 2020, reaching 350 metric tons. Egg imports are expected to rise by 1%.