World egg output grows despite disease impact

Avian influenza in many major egg-producing countries over the past year lowered short-term output, but egg production is still on track to hit the 100-million-metric-ton mark in the next two decades.

Egg production is still on track to reach 100 million metric tons by 2024. | Dreamstime
Egg production is still on track to reach 100 million metric tons by 2024. | Dreamstime

Over the past decade from 2000-14, world egg production has increased by 36.5 percent, or an average of 2.8 percent per year. In 2014, a laying flock of 7.2 billion hens produced almost 1,320 billion eggs worldwide, representing nearly 70 million metric tons in terms of weight. Although short-term growth rates for egg output are lower due to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) affecting the layer flock in several of the main producing countries, world egg production is on track to reach 100 million metric tons per year by 2035.

More than 90 percent of global egg production comprises eggs from hens. Out of about 69.7 million metric tons of hen’s eggs produced annually worldwide in 2014, the Asia-Pacific region contributed a majority share of 41 million metric tons or approximately 59 percent from a laying flock of more than 4.5 billion hens. Europe supplied more than 11 million metric tons or 16 percent of the global total. In third place, North America contributed approximately 6.2 million metric tons or 9 percent. South America produced 4.7 million metric tons (about 6.75 percent) and Africa was the source of slightly over 3 million metric tons (4.5 percent).

Five countries had provided over 56 percent of the world’s eggs in 2013, and the combined market share of the top 10 countries was almost 68 percent. Extending the list of largest producers to the top 15 countries covered 73 percent of all eggs produced. Together, the top 20 countries supplied 77.5 percent of global egg production.

China and the U.S. were at the head of the 20 countries producing most hens’ eggs. In China in 2013, according to National Statistics Bureau data, the national laying flock produced about 575 billion eggs compared to approximately 572 billion in 2012. Chinese egg production in 2014 was put at 28.94 million metric tons.

Domestic production of table eggs in the U.S. increased from 85 billion in 2013 to reach 87 billion in 2014, on reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For the table eggs sector, current output is from a productive flock of about 300 million laying hens. The U.S. all-eggs total of about 99.8 billion in 2014 compared with a production of 97.6 billion eggs in 2013 and came from approximately 361 million layers. The number of laying hens in the United States in December 2014 showed a year-on-year increase of 1.3 percent, up to 366 million hens.

USDA baseline projections have suggested that 85.8 billion table eggs may be produced nationally in 2015, out of an all-eggs total of about 102.5 billion, although the actual production will depend on the speed of recovery from a national outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Asia encompasses five of the top 10 national producers of eggs, with India and Japan at third and fourth positions in the world ranking. Short-term egg production growth rates of 3 percent to 4 percent per year are being forecast for India. At present, the Indian average for the per-capita availability of eggs is about 63 (which compares with 263 eggs per person per year averaged in the U.S. in 2014), but the rate in India is predicted to reach 100 before the year 2020.

Japanese ministry of agriculture statistics show that Japan has managed to maintain its annual egg production at about 2.5 million metric tons despite losing about 7 million hens from its egg layer inventory since 2009.

The combined output of the 28 countries belonging to the European Union appear in second place on the world list, having produced 7.44 million metric tons of eggs in 2014. France retained its position as Europe’s biggest egg producer by producing 14.8 billion eggs in 2014, compared to 13.1 billion from Germany and 11.1 billion from Italy. The majority of eggs in the region were produced from a laying flock in enriched cages, although over a quarter of the production came from hens raised in barns.

Table egg production in the European Union in 2014 amounted to nearly 6.6 million metric tons. EU table egg production is concentrated mainly in seven countries that account for over 75 percent of all eggs produced in the union.

Mexico in 2014 produced 2.57 million metric tons of eggs, representing an increase of 47.4 percent since 2000, according to data quoted by national association UNA.

Turkey has one of the fastest-growing egg sectors of any of the larger producing countries. In 2014, Turkish production of 17.145 billion eggs was about 42.25 percent more than the country’s layer sites had produced in 2005. 


View interactive charts and download the datasets in the Market Data section of WATTAgNet:

China egg production trend 2004-14

Egg production value in UK 2003-14

EU egg production volume by member countries 1991-2015

EU layers by housing type 2014

Regional trends in number of laying hens 2000-13

Top 10 egg-producing countries in European Union 2014

Top 20 countries for egg production in 2013

Top US states based on number of laying hens 2014

Trend in Mexican egg production 2000-14

US table egg production by month 2012-14

World egg production trend 2000-14

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