Share via Email


* Email To: (Separate multiple addresses with a semicolon)
* Your Name:
* Email From: (Your IP Address is 18.207.136.189)
* Email Subject: (personalize your message)


Email Content:

Cage-Free Report

11/02/2022

USDA Data On Cage-Free Production For October 2022

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

 

The USDA Cage-Free Report for October 2022, released on November 1st documented an almost unchanged complement of hens producing under the Certified Organic Program at 18.0 million (rounded to 0.1 million). The number of hens classified as cage-free (but excluding Certified Organic) including aviary, barn and other systems of housing increased 1.9 percent from September to 88.8 million. The values for hens are questioned given the continuing cycle of placing pullets, expansion of facilities and depletion of old hens with limited application of molting. 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 weekly egg production for Certified Organic in October was down 1.0 percent compared to September attaining an average of 83.0 percent on a hen-week basis. Average weekly flock production for cage free flocks other than Certified Organic in October was down by 1.0 percent from September 2022 attaining an average of 81.9 percent on a hen-week basis Seasonally, younger flocks increase the availability of cage-free and organic eggs in response to pullet chick placements in anticipation of pre-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas demand. Average flock production in October 2022 represented a balance between some HPAI depopulation, the number of older flocks some of which were molted and the relatively higher production from pullet chicks placed during May 2022.

 

Flock Size Average

(million hens)

October

2022

Average

Q3-

2022

Average

Q2 - 2022

Average

Q1 - 2022

Average

Q4 - 2021

Average

Q3 - 2021

Certified Organic

18.0

18.0

18.1

18.2

17.7

17.6

Cage-Free Hens

88.8

87.0

88.2

92.9

81.7

72.3

Total Non-Caged

106.8

105.0

106.3

111.1

99.4

89.9

Average Weekly Production (cases)

September

2022

October 

2022

Certified Organic @ 83.6% hen/day

293,880 

290,331 -1.2%

Cage-Free @ 82.5% hen/day

1,404,418

1,413,487 +1.2%

Total Non-Caged

1,698,298

1,703,818 +0.3%

Average Nest Run Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.64/doz. (May through October: $1.64)

Range:

$1.15 to $2.79/doz. (unchanged since Sept. ‘21).

FOB Negotiated October price, grade quality, nest-run. Loose. Price range $2.60 to $4.56 per dozen

Average September Value of $3.93/doz.

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

$2.72/doz. October (was $2.75 September)

USDA 6-Regions

*High: SW/NW $3.19/doz. $3.00 (SW)

*Low: SE $2.15/doz. $2.64 (MW)

*Includes only NE; SE; MW; SW. 874 stores.

 

Negotiated nest-run cage-free price for October 2022 averaged $3.93 per dozen up 17.3 percent from $3.35 per dozen in September reflecting unseasonal demand. Average October 2022 U.S. retail prices for cage-free eggs were down 1.1 percent from September to an average of $2.72 per dozen based on six regions. In reality a proportion of both cage free and organic production is downgraded and sold as commodity brown and white eggs.

 

The disparity between actual wholesale and retail prices indicates that chains are maximizing margins especially on Certified Organic and pastured categories. This strategy restricts volume of sales and is to the disadvantage of producers.

 

Based on the importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues the report on volumes and prices at monthly intervals for the information of Industry stakeholders. There is obvious doubt as to the accuracy of individual monthly flock numbers especially when reports show a marked change for the last month in a quarter or no change in the cage-free flock for sequential months. It is suggested that USDA should consider a quarterly report with more accurate and consistent hen data. This would be more useful to the industry for planning and marketing decisions.

 

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.