Producers are less optimistic on shell egg prices than they were a year ago. Nearly half, 47.2 percent, look for shell egg prices to decrease in 2008, yet about 30 percent still look for prices to increase, according to Egg Industry’s annual survey conducted last month.
Producers are more optimistic on prices for liquid eggs, further processed products, and specialty egg products, however. More than a third, 36.7 percent, look for liquid egg prices to increase, 26.7 percent anticipate a decrease in prices, while 36.7 percent expect prices to stay the same.
On further processed products, 44.4 percent look for prices to stay the same, 33.3 percent say prices will increase, while 22.2 percent anticipate a price decrease.
When it comes to organic eggs, 60.2 percent expect a price increase in 2008, less than 10 percent look for a price decrease, while 30.3 percent say prices will stay the same. And on cage-free eggs, 54.5 percent look for a price increase, 9.1 percent expect a price decrease, and 36.4 percent say prices will stay the same.
More than half of those surveyed say layer numbers will increase in 2008, only 3 percent say numbers will decrease, with 45.5 percent saying layer numbers will stay the same. Twenty-five percent say they expanded production through new construction over the past 12 months, while 75 percent say they did not. And 11.1 percent acquired other operations in 2007, while 88.9 percent did not.
There was a shake-up in topics producers rank as most important this year. While overproduction (too many birds) ranked top in producer concerns last year, in this year’s survey, bird welfare topped the list, followed by overproduction, environmental issues, price discovery issues, and capital availability.
Table 4: Rank as “Extremely Important”Table: Top Company Ratings (Million layers in production on 12/31/2007)