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Egg Exports

03/08/2024

Exports of shell eggs during the 12-month period commencing March 2022 were constrained by availability due to progressive and cumulative depletion of 44 million hens as a result of HPAI divided among spring and fall waves. The national flock was about 20 million hens lower than the pre-HPAI complement on an average weekly basis during 2022. Sharp rises in price as a result of supply-demand disequilibrium made U.S. export prices non-competitive as denoted by lower volumes over successive months from March 2022. Egg products were also impacted but to a lesser extent than shell eggs. During June 2023 shell and product exports combined represented 2.5 percent of total production, more than double the volume recorded in January 2023 but exports declined in July to 1.9 percent of production by U.S. flocks. At the present time the national flock is approximately 17 million hens lower than pre-HPAI levels with relatively high prices sufficient to constrain exports of shell eggs. Combined shell and product exports in December 2023 represented 2.6 percent of the output of the national flock. It is questioned whether lost markets other than the USMCA and Caribbean nations will be reclaimed over the intermediate term. Sporadic and short-term exports may be made to various nations based on supply disruption caused by HPAI.

 

USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing 2023 with 2022:-

PRODUCT

Jan. 2023

Jan. 2024

Difference

Shell Eggs

     

Volume (m. dozen)

5.7

4.6

-1.1 (-19.3%)

Value ($ million)

17.0

8.7

-8.3 (-48.8%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)

2.98

1.89

 -1.09 (-36.5%)

Egg Products

     

Volume (metric tons)

1,652

2,083

 +431 (+26.1%)

Value ($ million)

10.7

11.3

+0.6 (+5.6%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)

6,476

5,424

 -1,052 (-16.2%)

 

U.S. EXPORTS OF SHELL EGG AND EGG PRODUCTS DURING

JANUARY 2024 COMPARED WITH 2023

 

SHELL EGGS

 

Shell egg exports from the U.S. during January 2024 decreased by 19.3 percent in volume and 48.8 percent in total value compared to 2023. Unit value declined 36.5 percent to $1.89 per dozen compared to the corresponding month in 2023.

 

Canada was the leading importer of shell eggs during January 2024, with 2.2 million dozen representing 47.8 percent of volume and 47.1 percent of the $8.7 million total value of U.S. shipments of shell eggs. Unit price in January 2024 was $1.86 per dozen compared to $3.23 per dozen for consignments in January 2023. Imports by Canada are driven by consumer demand balanced against availability from the controlled supply situation in Canada. This inhibits flexibility necessitating imports from the U.S. to cater for demand.

 

The Bahamas was a distant second in shell egg imports from the U.S. during January 2024, with 0.6 million dozen representing 13.0 percent of volume and 12.6 percent of the total value of U.S. shipments of shell eggs. Unit price in January 2024 was $1.83 per dozen

Mexico was the third-ranked importer of shell eggs in January 2024 with a volume of 0.4 million dozen representing 8.9 percent of export volume and 6.9 percent of value. This price discrepancy was due to a low unit value of $1.50 per dozen compared to an average value of $1.89 per dozen for all exports.

 

During January 2024 the next three significant importing nations (Netherlands Antilles, Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.) with a collective volume of 0.5 million dozen represented 10.9 percent of U.S. exports. Value of exports to these importing nations amounted to $0.8 million in January 2024 compared to $1.1 million in January 2023. Unit price for these importers in January 2024 averaged $1.60 per dozen, compared to the January 2024 average USDA export price of $1.89, per dozen, tray packed, excluding processing but with inland transport and outer cartons. The average 12-month trailing USDA benchmark price for nest-run large shell eggs was $1.37* per dozen weighted by high prices during shortages during the second half of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 resulting from depletion of flocks infected with HPAI.

 

*USDA 12-month USDA benchmark nest-run unit prices per dozen: February 2023, $2.13; March, $2.74; April, $1.38; May, $0.60; June, $0.82; July, $0.83 and August, $0.90; September, $1.00; October, $0.89; November, $1.65; December, $1.81 and January 2024, $1.72.

 

EGG PRODUCTS

 

The total volume of exported egg products during January 2023 increased 26.1 percent to 2,083 metric tons compared to January 2023. Total value of $11.3 million was higher by 5.6 percent compared to January 2023. Unit value decreased by 16.2 percent to $5,424 per ton compared to January 2023. During 2023 the U.S. exported 29,814 metric tons of egg products valued at $134.3 million with a unit price of $4,505 per metric ton. Fluctuation in unit price reflects the composition of exports and the relationship between World supply and demand. Ukraine is now restrained in production but India continues as a significant exporter.

 

Mexico was the 1st-ranked importer by volume of egg products during January 2024 receiving 672 metric tons from the U.S. valued at $2.4 million representing 32.3 percent of volume and 21.2 percent of value with a unit price of $3,571 per metric ton. Volume for January 2024 was up by 47.1 percent but value was lower by 17.2 percent compared to January 2023.

 

Japan fell to the 2nd ranked importer from the U.S. during January 2024 based on a volume of 382 metric tons with a value of $1.7 million, representing 18.5 percent of volume and 15.0 percent of the total value of U.S. exports of egg products. Exports to Japan fell by 35.5 percent in volume and 34.6 percent value compared to January 2023. The unit value of $4,392 per metric ton can be compared with the average unit value for U.S. exports of all egg products at $5,425 per metric ton. During 2023 Japan imported 10,352 metric tons of egg products from the U.S., valued at $49.9 million. With the conclusion of a bilateral trade agreement, the U.S. is no longer at a competitive disadvantage with respect to the E.U.

 

South Korea was ranked third among importers of egg products during January 2024 with a volume of 315 metric tons valued at $1.2 million. Most flocks in South Korea have been restored to production after depopulation following 2021-2022 outbreaks of HPAI. Import volume may have been influenced by limited but rising flock depletion or alternatively increased demand in advance of the Lunar New Year. In 2023 South Korea imported 1,141 metric tons valued at $5.3 million. Imports to South Korea resumed during November 2023 and continued through December with 237 metric tons valued at $0.7 million. Depending on severity, the return of HPAI may result in a disparity between local availability and demand requiring imports in 2024 as in 2022

 

Canada was the 4th-ranked importer in January 2024 based on a volume of 240 metric tons with a value of $1.1 million. Canada represented 11.5 percent of volume and 9.7 percent of value with a unit price of $4,583 per metric ton. Volumes shipped reflect restoration of the institutional and food service sectors and relative availability of domestic product in Canada.

 

COMMENTS

 

During 2021 the value of shell eggs and egg products attained $101.8 million or 32.7 percent of combined export value. Exports in 2022 amounted to $126.5 million in value equivalent to 47.5 percent of the combined value of shell eggs and products. During 2023 exports valued at $150.7 million represented 50.8 percent of shell egg and egg products amounting to $296.5 million. Canada represented 59.0 percent of the $162.2 million for shell eggs and 10.3 percent of egg products valued at $121.2 million, shipped during 2023, emphasizing dependence on this USMCA partner. During January the USMCA represented 41 percent of combined shell egg and product sales valued at $20 million.

 

Aspirational volumes of exports in excess of five percent of domestic production are unrealistic. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will buy according to their needs for undifferentiated shell eggs and products based on landed price in a competitive World market. Purchase decisions for commodities are determined by FOB price, freight, duty and broker margins. Shell eggs and the various categories of egg products are essentially commodities and are non-responsive to promotion.

 

Exports will be dependent on the willingness of importers to accept the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) principle of regionalization (zoning) in the event of outbreaks of exotic Newcastle disease or isolation of either H5 or H7 avian influenza (AI), in commercial flocks, irrespective of pathogenicity. Most importing nations are now applying regionalization and permitting imports on a zonal, county or state-exclusion basis following H5 or H7 AI infection. Canada and the U.S. operate according to a 2018 bilateral agreement to maintain trade in the event of outbreaks of catastrophic exotic diseases including HPAI and END.

 

Generally pasteurized egg products should not be subject to any embargo imposed following reports of AI or Newcastle disease in a region.