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USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

06/04/2018

Based on the importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues a monthly report on volumes and prices for the information of Industry stakeholders. There is profound doubt as to the accuracy of the monthly flock numbers and the question is raised as to the desirability of posting accurate quarterly data in place of erratic monthly figures.

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

The USDA Cage Free report for the month of May 2018 released on June 4th 2018 documented a 0.1 percent increase in hens producing under the Certified Organic seal and no increase in cage-free flocks as compared to April 2018. Organic egg production was the same as in April despite the 0.1 percent increase in flock size. This suggests a lack of precision in collecting data at monthly intervals. 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 retained at 75.0 percent for both categories in April and May (accepting USDA data):-

 

Flock Size (million hens)

Dec. ‘17   Jan. ‘18     Feb.    March    April   May

Certified Organic

14.7          14.6          15.0      15.0      15.5     15.6

Cage-free hens

34.7          35.7          36.9      36.9      38.9     38.9

Total non-caged

49.4          50.3          51.9      51.9      54.4     54.5

 

Average weekly production cases, May 2018   Δ

Certified Organic

226,902   was 226,902 April  0%

Cage-free

567,233   was 567,233 April  0%

Total non-caged

794,135    was 794,135 April  0%

 

Average Wholesale Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.60/doz. Unchanged since October ‘17.

Range unchanged at:

FOB Negotiated price, grade quality nest run

Down 13 percent from March

$1.16 to $2.10/doz. (Av. $1.60/doz.) 

$0.90 to $1.42/doz. (Av. $1.12/doz.)

 

 

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

$2.69/doz. ($2.73 May ‘18.)      April’18 

USDA 6-Region

High: NE

$2.94/doz.              $2.89 NE

 

Low:  SC

$2.49/doz.              $2.47 MW

 

Kindly refer 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.

(SMS 1,003-June 4th 2018)