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UK Egg Statistics - First Quarter 2009

by 5m Editor
1 May 2009, at 11:33am

UK - The throughput of eggs through UK packing stations in the first quarter (Q1) of 2009 was 6.12 million cases, marginally higher than the same period of last year. Cage eggs still account for more than half of the market but free-range production now accounts for more than one in every three eggs produced in the UK.

The latest figures for the first quarter (Q1) were published by the UK Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) at the end of April. Among the highlights of the report are:

  • At 6.119 million cases [1 case = 360 eggs], packing station throughput in the UK for Q1 2009 was just 0.7 per cent higher than the same period of last year, continuing the upward trend that started in Q1 2008.
  • Compared to the same period of 2008, Q1 production was steady for England and Wales but while output was up by 14.2 per cent in Northern Ireland, it was 2.4 per cent lower in Scotland.
  • The analysis of packing station output by production type shows some significant trends:
    • Of all UK eggs in Q1 2009, 57.5 per cent (3.519 million cases) were from caged birds, compared to 58.9 per cent in the same period last year.
    • Free-range eggs (2.121 million cases) now account for 34.7 per cent of all eggs produced. This compares with 31.6 per cent in Q1 2008.
    • At 259,000 cases, organic production provides 4.2 per cent of UK egg output. A year ago, organic eggs accounted for six per cent of the market.
    • At 220,000 cases, barn eggs account for 3.6 per cent of production, about the same as a year previously.
  • The average packer-to-producer prices was 1.6 per cent higher in Q1 2009 than the same period in 2008 so the rate of price rises has slowed considerably. The weighted average price was 71.2 pence per dozen.
    • The average cage egg prices in Q1 was 55.1 pence per dozen.
    • Free-range eggs prices averaged 88.9 pence in Q1, marginally below the same period of 2008.
    • The average price of barn eggs was 72.7 pence per dozen, continuing an upward trend since Q4 2006.
  • UK egg processors bought 1.292 million cases of eggs in Q1, well down on the 1.426 million cases in the same quarter last year.
  • Processed egg output was 24,051 tonnes for the quarter, down marginally on Q1 2008.
  • The amount of liquid and frozen whole eggs was 16,770 tonnes, down from 17,587 tonnes in the same quarter last year, while other eggs products were up to 7,281 tonnes from 6,502 tonnes.
  • Data on egg trade is available for the first two months of the year. The figures vary considerably from month to month.
    • Shell egg imports in February 2009 (compared to February 2008) were 273,000 cases (-23.2 per cent), while exports were 33,100 cases (-13.6 per cent). The trade gap in shell eggs continues a downward trend.
    • Egg products imports for the month were 211,000 cases (-20.3 per cent), while exports were 24,700 (+106.1 per cent).

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.