Prices inch upwards

Production in 2010 is expected to increase by 1%.

The welcome seasonal price increase is consistent with past years reflecting greater consumer demand. The favorable price is moderated by adroit management of flock placements and molting to optimize production. The latest figures posted by Don Bell forecast a peak annual U.S. flock of 281.7 million in December declining in the traditionally low post-Easter period when flocks are projected to range from 277.5 million in May 2010 to a low of 275.8 million in August 2010.

Correspondingly U-B quotes will decline from a December 2009 value of 122.6 c/dozen to a low of 95.8 c/dozen in May 2010. According to the egg price forecasts by Bell only in May 2010 will prices be expected to drop below the 100c/dozen threshold.

Chart: Producer egg prices average 

During October 2009 for which the most recent figures were available at press time, year to date average contribution was 1.78 c/dozen despite the 6.0c/dozen posted in October and the high values in January (31.0 c/dozen) and April (18.5 c/dozen). These positive monthly contribution figures were offset by large losses in May (20.1 c/dozen) and June (25.1 c/dozen) respectively.

For the last quarter of 2009, the USDA projection of total production is 1,645 million dozen, virtually identical to the 1,640 million dozen in 2008. Annual production for 2009 will amount to 6,449 million dozen and is forecast to increase by 1% to 6,510 million dozen in 2010. Correspondingly, per capita “disappearance” (domestic consumption and exports) will increase from 247.7 eggs in 2009 to 248.1 eggs in 2010.

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