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USDA DATA ON OCTOBER CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

11/02/2020

EGG-NEWS summarizes and comments on data and trends in the monthly USDA Cage-Free Report, summarizing the information posted weekly in the EGG-NEWS Egg Weekly Price and Inventory Report.

 

The USDA Cage Free Report for the month of October 2020 released on November 2nd 2020 documented no change in the population of hens producing under the Certified Organic seal at 17.2 million, but up 6.2 percent (1.0 million hens) from the average in Q3 2020. Cage free flocks were up 0.2 percent (0.1 million hens) from September but unchanged from the average of Q3 at 62.9 million. The respective numbers of hens in organic and cage-free flocks should reflect the realities of supply and demand in the market over successive quarters.

 

Average flock production was raised to 79.5 percent for October for both categories of non-caged hens reflecting the balance between older flocks and the higher relative production from chicks placed during April and May 2020.

 

Flock size

(million hens) October

2020

Av. Q3

2020

Av. Q2

2020

Av. Q1

 2020

Certified Organic 17.2

16.2

15.7

15.7

Cage-free hens 62.9

62.9

61.5

56.3

Total non-caged 80.1

79.1

77.2

72.0

Average weekly production (cases). September October 2020

Certified Organic

261,722 265,056 +1.3%

Cage-free

959,061 972,468 +1.4%

Total non-caged

1,220,783 1,237,524 +1.4%

Average Wholesale Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.51/doz. ($1.51 Sept. 2020)

Range:

$1.15 to $1.90/doz.

FOB Negotiated price, grade quality, nest-run, loose

Price range $0.95 to $1.57 per dozen

Average Value of $1.12/doz. (was $1.06 Sept.)

Average Advertised National Retail Price C-F, L, Brown

$2.73/doz. (was $2.63 Sept. 2020)

USDA 6-Regions

High: NW.

$3.06/doz. $2.92 (SW)

Low: MW. 

$2.49/doz. $2.39 (MW.)

 

Based on the importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues their report on volumes and prices at monthly intervals for the information of Industry stakeholders. There is some doubt as to the accuracy of the individual monthly flock numbers especially when reports show either no change in the cage-free flock for sequential months or a large difference usually after the end of a quarter. It is suggested that USDA consider a quarterly report with more accurate and consistent data to be more useful to the industry.

 

Subscribers are referred to weekly USDA wholesale and retail prices posted in the EGG-NEWS Egg Price and Inventory Report E-mailed each Friday. The previous Monthly Cage-Free Report is available under the STATISTICS Tab.