January-February statistical report Number 87 issued on April 5 provides valuable data on the current status of the egg industry and indicates future trends.

According to data assembled and collated by Don Bell, Poultry Specialist Emeritus, University of California, restraint in expansion has contributed to market stability. This is evidenced in the forecast prepared jointly by Bell and Marlo Ibarburu issued by the Egg Industry Center.

Key data indicating the status of the U.S. egg industry:

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  • Average monthly pullet hatch January/February 2010 was 19.73 million, a 5.3% increase over the corresponding months in 2009.
  • The 24-month previous hatch average for January and February is 464.732 million pullets or 1.8% above the corresponding months in 2009.
  • For the first six months of 2010 it is projected that an average monthly placement of 17.14 million pullets will be transferred to laying houses. This value is 0.31% above the first six months of 2009.
  • The average flock size for the first two months of 2010 corresponds to 281.5 millions hens or 0.7% less than the first two months of 2009.
  • Total egg production during the first two months of 2010 remained constant compared to the corresponding period in 2009 at 12.525 million or 34.8 million cases.
  • Through February 2010, 23.6% of the national flock had been molted, approximately 1.2% less than the corresponding period in 2009.
  • Hen slaughter increased by 13% during the first two months of 2010 to 5.48 million. It is noted that this figure represents hens slaughtered in USDA inspected plants. It does not include flocks which are rendered or disposed of in landfills, representing between 50% and 55% of depleted flocks.
  • Egg breaking for products in 2009 decreased by 2.6% compared to 2008 to 30.8% of total U.S. egg production.
  • Urner-Barry Midwest large prices for the first three months of 2010 averaged 128.7 cents/dozen compared to an average of 112.4 cents per dozen for the corresponding first quarter of 2009, representing a 16.4% increase.
  • Urner-Barry Midwest breaker egg prices for the first three months of 2010 averaged 57.6 cents/dozen compared to 47.4 cents/dozen, an 18% increase.
  • Average production costs for 2008 amounted to 64.9 cents/dozen declining by approximately 10% to 58.7 cents/dozen. This was due to a decline in feed costs which peaked during the summer of 2008. For the first three months of 2010 the average production of cost attained 58.5 cents/dozen which corresponds closely with the 2009 average.

Egg Industry is indebted to Don Bell and Maro Ibarburu for the collection and presentation of detailed data which forms the basis of this summary.