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on January 2, 2007

IEC country review highlights

Per capita egg consumption and trends in egg consumption vary greatly from country to country.

The following country highlights were taken from the International Egg Commission’s 2005 conference report held in Amsterdam:

Argentina: The country’s 38.5 million people consumed an average of 170 eggs per person in 2004 compared to 144 in the previous year and 148 in 2001.

Australia: From a low of 149 eggs per person in July 2003, it has since risen to 165 by August 2004 and the industry has set a goal of 200 eggs by 2010.

Austria: Consumption has risen to 226 eggs per person for a population of 8.1 million people. A new Animal Welfare Act came into force this year under which production from traditional cages will be prohibited by 2009, while enriched cages have been given a 15-year phasing-out period from 2004. The net effect of these changes will result in a 15-20% cut in egg production, while the self-sufficiency level will fall from 75% to 60%.

China: Egg production in China has increased by more than 10% a year in the last 20 years and in 2002 amounted to 25.7 million tons while per capita consumption stood at 19.13kg. Fewer than 50 farms have more than 100,000 layers.

France: Total egg consumption averaged 253 eggs per person last year.

Germany: The past few years have seen Germany’s level of self-sufficiency in eggs drop from just over 75% in 2000 to an estimated 68% this year. Should there be a complete ban on cages, then the level of self-sufficiency would drop to between 30 to 40%, while imports would increase accordingly. Per capita egg consumption peaked at 227 eggs back in 1997 and is estimated at 207 eggs per person this year.

India: With a population of more than a billion people and eggs supplied from 7,500 farmers, the per capita egg consumption equals about 45 eggs per person.

Japan: Per capita egg consumption for a human population of 126 million stands at 336 eggs.

Mexico: The country’s largest egg producer owns 14 million layers, while the average flock size is 200,000. Egg consumption is more than 340 eggs per person.

Norway: While the average flock size had increased, the estimate for this year was still only 3,000, with the largest farm having 30,000 birds.

Pakistan: There are 25 million layers with the largest commercial flock having 600,000 layers. Per capita egg consumption equals about 53 eggs per person per year.

Russia: There are 425 industrial egg enterprises each having 300,000 birds or more. However, only 182 were performing at their production potential, while 129 were achieving less than 50%. Currently, per capita egg consumption equals about 253 eggs per person.

Spain: The country has about 50 million hens. Shell egg consumption averaged around 240 eggs per person.

Sweden: The switch from traditional cages has been completed in just three years. In the past five years, the price gap between cage and barn eggs had diminished such that in 2005 the premium over cage eggs had been halved when compared with 2001.

United Kingdom: The country has 30 million layers and is the 5th largest in Europe. Consumption has risen to 174 eggs/person, mainly as a result of the promotional efforts under the Lion Quality Scheme. In 2004, the market split by production systems was 66% cage, 24% free-range, 7% barn, and 3% organic. - United Voices, January 11, 2006, the newsletter of the United Egg Producers

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