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Shell Eggs Market News

Egg Market Update


Liquid and Shell Egg Market News

February 9, 2024
Source: USDA AMS Livestock & Poultry Program, Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division Egg Markets Overview


Source: USDA AMS Livestock & Poultry Program, Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division Egg Markets Overview

Wholesale prices for cartoned shell eggs continued to advance but the pace of the
advance has slowed. Demand has eased to a moderate to good level as supplies have
increased to a light to moderate level but the market remains firm as spot market offerings
remain limited. The pace of trading is moderate to active. Wholesale prices for graded
loose eggs weakened as demand eases as buyers have been able to slowly rebuild their
stocks. Offerings remain light and trading is moderate to active. The volume of trailer load
loose egg sales this week decreased 7% with 64% for out-front business as marketers are
looking ahead to Easter. Prices for national trading of trucklot quantities of graded, loose,
White Large shell eggs decreased $0.25 to $2.29 per dozen with a weak undertone. The
wholesale price on the New York market for Large cartoned shell eggs delivered to
retailers rose $0.20 to $3.34 per dozen with a steady undertone. In the major Midwest
production region, the wholesale price for Large, white, shell eggs delivered to warehouses
increased $0.57 to $2.93 per dozen with a firm to higher undertone while prices paid to
producers for Large cartoned shell eggs increased $0.28 to $3.02 per dozen. The California
benchmark for Large shell eggs rose $0.27 to $5.59 per dozen with a weak undertone.
Delivered prices on the California-compliant wholesale loose egg market was unchanged
at $4.49 per dozen on limited trading with a weak undertone.

Demand for shell eggs has begun to retreat but remains atypically high for this time of
year. Consumer demand has declined from weather-driven levels a few weeks ago with
most demand coming from restocking efforts to replenish depleted supplies – particularly
from the retail sector. The Easter marketing period (Easter is on March 31 this year) is just
over 5 weeks away and, in that short window, marketers are looking to rebuild their stocks
and bring wholesale prices down to levels that will support good product movement for
the holiday. Egg product manufacturers have slowed their production levels for now as
spot market offerings remain very limited but held with confidence. Breakers have had
modest success in halting the decline in their stocks this week as breaking inventories
gained 4% over last week with a long way to go to get back to levels of just a few weeks

 Continued outbreaks of highlypathogenic avian influenza from December into early
January, particularly in concentrated areas of California, led to supply
imbalances even as cage-free requirements in Oregon and Washington were
initiated. This led to increased competition for available supplies
compounded by planned flock replacement and regenerative activities. During the second
week of the month, consumer demand, which is typically light entering a new year, rose
sharply as consumers stocked up on staples, including shell eggs, ahead of severe winter
weather over much of the nation. By the third week, consumer demand was further
incentivized by wide-spread shell egg sales promotions by grocery retailers at attractive
price levels. 

Egg Supply and Demand


Cage-free commitments as of January 2024 remain about unchanged, requiring 66.7
billion cage-free eggs per year to meet 100% of needs from an approximate cage-free
flock of 221.4 million hens (71% of the U.S. non-organic flock), indicating a shortage of
117.5 million hens from the current non-organic cage-free flock of 103.9 million hens. The
average lay rate for non-organic, barn/aviary cage-free production is currently estimated
at 83.4%. The non-organic cage-free flock entered the new year down 1.5% from December
as the impact of continued outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza
(HPAI) reduced flocks.

Cage Free Expansion Chart


Wholesale prices for certified liquid whole eggs are trending steady on a limited test.
Demand is light to moderate for light to moderate offerings. Trading is moderate. Prices
on frozen liquid whole eggs were unchanged at $1.09 per pound as were those for frozen
liquid whites at $0.97 per pound. The undertone is steady with light to moderate demand,
and light to moderate supplies and offerings. Trading is moderate. Prices for dried whole
eggs were steady at $6.75 per pound and the price for dried yolk was steady at $5.40 per
pound. Prices for dried albumen were too few to report. The undertone is steady. Offerings
and supplies are light to moderate while demand is in a full range with moderate trading.

Source: USDA Egg Market News