Only a small percentage of the table eggs produced globally are traded between countries; over one-tenth of world poultry meat production is exported, but with eggs the proportion stays at less than 2%. Trade in shell eggs is mainly within their region of origin, as they are difficult to transport.
About two-thirds of global egg trading involves European countries. Members of the EU-27 supply about one-third of all egg exports. Compared with 2.5 billion in 2008, the USA’s export sales in 2009 rose to 2.9 billion. Shell egg and egg product exports from the Netherlands in 2009 rose 2% to the equivalent of 9.2 billion eggs.
Approximately three-quarters of the eggs exported worldwide go to countries in Asia, especially Japan. Traders described their exports of eggs rising significantly in the second half of 2009 and continuing this trend in 2010, driven principally by sales to Asian countries including China, Japan and Korea. Shipments to European Union member states such as Germany were also strong.
Trade in eggs among member states of the EU-27 primarily means imports by Germany, France and the UK. Most supplies for this trade come from the Netherlands, Spain and Poland.
Data published by ZMP of Germany in 2008 on the volume of liquid and dried egg products traded by EU countries have been cited by Professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst in a review presented to the International Egg Commission. These data showed that sales to non-EU countries represented only about 10% of exports of egg products by the European Union. The Netherlands was the principal supplier of the egg products exported, accounting for over 40% of the total.