After reaching just over 80 million metric tons in 2017, egg production around the world fell slightly to nearly 77 million metric tons in 2018, based on most recent data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This is still up from nearly 74 million metric tons in 2016.
FAST FACT: In 1990, FAO reports 37.4 million metric tons of eggs were produced worldwide.
Data shows that since 1990, global egg production volume has increased by more than 100%. According to FAOSTAT’s latest data, the largest contributors to egg production continue to be China, the U.S., India and Mexico. These countries contributed 458 billion, 109 billion, 95 billion and 57.4 billion eggs, respectively, to the total count for 2018.
U.S. egg production situation
The U.S., a world leader in egg production, will have increased its egg production by nearly 30% from the period of 2003 to 2019, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest projections. The country will contribute an estimated nearly 9,400 million dozen eggs in 2019, continuing on the upward trend since recovering from avian influenza in 2015, during which time the country produced nearly 8,000 million dozen eggs. In the short term, egg production should remain relatively flat, with a slight decrease from the nearly 9,500 million dozen eggs produced in 2019 and minor increase projected for 2021 although still lower than two years’ priors (Table 1).
According to the latest available data from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), the number of laying hens in the U.S. is expected to have reached nearly 400 million in 2019. Of these, the majority (76.4%) were conventionally raised, 17.8% were raised in a cage-free environment and just 5.8% were raised organically, according to USDA and United Egg Producer estimates for 2019.
Other major egg-producing countries
In the EU, nearly 7 million metric tons of eggs were produced, according to the European Commission. Of this, European Commission data shows enriched cages are still the most widely used, with half (49.5%) produced from layers housed in enriched cages, while 32.5% of eggs were from layers in barns, 11.8% were free range and 6.2% raised organically. Over the long term, the European Commission expects to continue to see an approximate 7% increase in egg production from 2020-30, reaching almost 7,674 million metric tons by 2030.
Mexico, another large egg producer, has struggled with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic like many other countries, however the country is still projected to produce at least 3 million metric tons’ worth of eggs in 2020 with a very slight increase projected by USDA’s most-recent data.
Download more poultry market data: