Egg Industry Statistics and Reports

Commodity Report


Weekly Economy, Energy and Commodity Report: September 21st 2023.



At 14H00 on September 21st the CME price for corn was down 1.3 percent compared to the previous week to 476 cents per bushel for December delivery. Prices of commodities were influenced by weather conditions and profit taking and indirectly by events in the Black Sea. Other factors included movement in the wheat market, with the crop in Australia projected one third down due to El Nino. During the past week, 54 percent of corn acreage was located in drought areas compared to 40 percent a week ago. Orders by China resumed at the end of the 2022-2023 market year. Despite concern over weather as the crop matures, the demand for ethanol and a projection for lower ending stock of corn, prices are remaining substantially unchanged week-to-week.


Soybeans were down 4.5 percent from last week to 1,298 cents per bushel for November delivery. Prices during the week generally responded to events in Ukraine, predictions of crop size and ending stocks and some profit taking. During the week 48 percent of soybean acreage was located in drought areas up from 43 percent last week.


Soybean meal was down 2.8 percent to $389 per ton for November delivery, reflecting higher domestic and export demand. Price will fluctuate to reflect the CME price for soybeans and the demand for soy oil. The market has now accepted projections of crop size and higher stocks for the old crop as documented in the April WASDE Report and the forecast included in the September WASDE Report for the 2023 crop and the August 25th report on the Pro Farmer crop tour.


WTI was up 0.2 percent from last week rising $0.15 to $89.10 per barrel at 18H00 on September 20th attributed to higher demand and strengthening of the U.S. Dollar. There was considerable fluctuation in price during the week with WTI peaking above $93 per barrel on September 19th before retreating. The May announcement of an ‘agreed’ production cut by OPEC and an intended 1 million barrels per day voluntary cut by Saudi Arabia announced on June 4th and extending through December is now materially contributing to inflation.


Factors influencing commodity prices in either direction over the past four weeks included:-


  • Variable weather conditions in areas growing corn and soybeans with projected lower yields despite reduced speculation in commodities. (upward pressure).
  • Geopolitical considerations moved markets this past week. Cancellation of the BSGI in July and ongoing attacks on Ukraine port facilities continue to impact prices of wheat, corn, oilseeds and vegetable oils. Exports from Ukraine will be severely restricted even with E.U. support. Russia has unsuccessfully attempted to implement a Black Sea blockade on Ukraine that raises prospects for further asymmetric responses by Ukraine and even NATO intervention. This week three loaded bulk vessels left Chornomorsk for Egypt and other destinations and two vessels entered Odesa. (Upward pressure on corn and wheat and an indirect effect on soybeans)
  • Macroeconomic U.S. factors:-
  • Most economists in academia and the private sector are forecasting a “soft landing” of the economy following upgraded forecasts for Q3 GDP and economic parameters as detailed below. Inflation has declined from 9.1 percent month-over-month to 4.0 percent as a result of 11 FOMC rate cuts without materially increasing unemployment. There is evident stability in the bank sectors in both the U.S. and Europe. Large U.S. banks passed stringent “stress tests” in June.
  • The Federal Reserve held the benchmark interest rate at the monthly FOMC meeting on September 20th. The Fed. commentary indicated that the rate would be held high for a prolonged period in the range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent. Chairman Powell in Congressional testimony and through FOMC minutes indicated that additional increases should be expected with observers anticipating one more rate hike in late 2023 or early 2024 to restore inflation to near an annual 2.0 percent target that is now being questioned for validity.
  • The Department of Commerce announced that the inflation rate for Q2 attained 2.6 percent down from the Q1 level of 4.1 percent.
  • The August 30th announcement of Q2 GDP confirmed a 2.1 percent annualized increase compared to a previous projection of 2.4 percent.
  • The September 13th release of the August 2023 CPI confirmed an annualized increase of 3.7 percent (3.2 percent July) with a core value of 4.3 percent. Food at home was up 0.2 percent from the previous month and 3.0 percent above July 2022. Food away from home was up 0.3 percent from July and up 6.5% from July 2022. Energy was up 5.2 percent, mainly due to gasoline, higher by 10.1 percent. The macro trend is clearly towards reduced inflation but with concern over escalation in energy prices.
  • The August Producer Price Index (PPI) released on September 14th rose 0.7 percent over July. The increase is attributed mainly to a rise in energy costs but with the core value excluding volatile fuel and food, was steady at 0.1 percent. Wholesale food was down 0.5 percent compared with a 0.4 percent increase in July.
  • The September 14th release of retail sales showed a monthly rise of 0.6 percent over August and 2.5 percent from August 2022. The Federal Reserve closely monitors this index as a measure of the trend in inflation.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index released on August 29th for July/August, declined to 106 points, down from 114 in June/July
  • Non-farm payrolls increased to 187,000 during August, lower than the 12-month average of 240,000 as documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on September 1st The unemployment rate rose to 3.8 percent from 3.5 percent in July. Average hourly wage rate in August was up 0.2 percent from July to $29.00. Wage rates are closely followed by the Federal Reserve FOMC. Job openings declined to 8.8 million on July 31st down 4.4 percent from 9.2 million on June 30th
  • Initial jobless claims released on September 21st attained 201,000 for the week ending September 16th, down 19,000 and compared with an estimate of 225,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 1.66 million continuing claims as of the third week in September.
  • A Bureau of Labor Statistics report on September 7th recorded a 3.5 percent increase in Productivity for Q2; Unit Labor Cost was up by 2.2 percent on a normalized basis and Hours Worked down by 1.5 percent in Q2
  • The ADP reported on August 30th that private payrolls increased by 177,000, down 52.2 percent from July compared with an estimate of 195,000. This decline will not directly influence the probability of short-term future rate hikes or pauses. The ADP is regarded by the FOMC as an unreliable statistic




  • Dry weather in the Midwest during early June transitioned to intermittent rain effectively lowering prices for corn and soybeans in July and early August. Drought conditions prevailed in 54 percent of corn areas and 48 percent of soybean acreage this past week. (Downward pressure on prices with firmer indications yields in the July WASDE)
  • The Pro-Farmer crop tour recently lowered yield estimates for corn and soybeans from the revised September WASDE estimates by 1.0 and 0.8 percent respectively, based on adverse weather conditions.
  • It is evident that both polarization in the closely divided chambers of Congress and intra-party conflict between and among both sides of the House will delay adoption of appropriations bills. Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill will be contentious and now most likely to be delayed until the end of the year over SNAP eligibility and other entitlements that collectively represent 75 percent of total expenditure. The August 2nd downgrade of U.S. debt from AAA to AA+ by Fitch Ratings recognizes Congressional dysfunction. The Agency cited “a steady deterioration in the standard of governance”. The House has failed to pass 11 appropriations bills or a continuing resolution necessary to avoid shutdowns at the end of the Federal fiscal year. In contrast the Senate has completed its work through bipartisan cooperation. This situation is creating uncertainty and will impact equity and commodity markets and the image of the U.S. governmental system.
  • The August 12th WASDE #640 updated soybean production and a near record corn harvest for the new crop with high world availability despite drought in the Argentine. The September WASDE confirmed the damage caused by the transitory drought in the Midwest during late May through early July by reducing the projected yields of both soybeans and corn from the August report. The U.S. will export 12 percent of both old and new crop corn resulting in lower ending stocks. Soybean exports will comprise 44 percent of the old crop and 40 percent of the new crop with a reduction in ending stock. (See WASDE Report in this edition confirming availability, use and ex-farm price projections)
  • There is an expectation that for market-year 2023-2024, Brazil has commenced planting soybeans and expects to attain a record harvest of 159 million metric tons (5,842 million bushels) with export of 55 million metric tons (7,205 million bushels). A corn harvest of 131 million metric tons (5,156 million bushels) is anticipated with export of 55 million metric tons (7,205 million bushels). (Lower prices in the future subject to favorable reports on crop progress and actual harvests)
  • The Dollar Index (DXY) was 105.6 on September 20th, up 0.9 points from last week. The DXY has ranged from 99.6 to 110.8 over the past 52-weeks. The dollar index influences timing and volume of export orders and the price of WTI crude.



The FAS Export Report, the third released for market year 2023/2024 on September 21st for the week ending September 14th reflected carry-over from market year 2022-2023. The report confirmed that outstanding export orders for corn amounted to 10.4 million metric tons (410.7 million bushels). Net orders for the past week covering the 2023-2024 market year amounted to 0.57 million metric tons (22.4 million bushels). Shipments recorded during the past working week amounted to 0.60 million metric tons (23.7 million bushels). For the current market year to date cumulative exports of 1.33 million metric tons (52.3 million bushels) are 29.4 percent higher compared to the equivalent week of the previous market year. For market year 2024-2025 there were no outstanding or new sales this past week

(Conversion 39.36 bushels per metric ton. Quantities in metric tons rounded to 0.1 million)


The FAS Export Report for the week ending September 14th reflecting market year 2023-2024 with carry-over from the previous market year, recorded outstanding export orders for soybeans amounting to 16.2 million metric tons (592.5 million bushels). Net orders this past week attained 0.4 million metric tons (15.9 million bushels). For the current market year to date cumulative exports of 0.9 million metric tons (35.0 million bushels) are 0.9 percent higher compared to the equivalent week of the previous market year. For market year 2024-2025 there were no outstanding or new sales this past week

 (Conversion 36.74 bushels per metric ton)


Egg Projection


Updated September 2023 USDA Projection for U.S. Egg Production and Consumption.


On September 18th the USDA Economic Research Service issued updated values for egg production during 2022 with a projection for 2023 and a forecast for 2024. Production, consumption and prices were only slightly revised from the previous July 18th 2022 report.


Projected egg production for 2023 was reduced 0.6 percent from the August Report to 7,885 million dozen This will be 1.3 percent higher than in 2022 due to replacement of a proportion of the hens depleted due to HPAI over the period extending from early spring through mid-December 2022. The per capita consumption of shell eggs and liquids combined for 2023 was 0.4 percent lower than in the August report to 280.0 eggs but up 1.0 egg (0.4 percent) from 2022. The average 2023 benchmark New York bulk unit price was up 2.0 percent at 187 cents per dozen. This was 33.5 percent lower than in 2022 attributed to a comparison with unseasonal high prices from the end of March through the 2nd Quarter of 2023.


Subsequent USDA projections will provide greater clarity on the recovery of consumption in an economy that is impacted by moderating inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a rise of 3.7 percent in the Consumer Price Index for August with a 0.2 percent increase in the food component month-over-month. The 2023 Midwest in-carton wholesale price peaked at $5.17 per dozen on January 3rd 2023 but fell precipitously to a market bottom of $0.78 per dozen on May 8th attaining $1.64 on September 15th This was above the USDA/EIC projection of the combined nest run August cost at 83 cents per dozen plus processing and packaging at 57 cents per dozen amounting to $1.40 cents per dozen.


Restoration in flock size at a rate of approximately 0.6 million per week is progressing but limited by the availability of pullet chicks for replacement and the rate of conversion to alternative housing systems. The cost of ingredients will influence margins and may result in cessation of production by some small-scale producers as negative margins prevail through summer. Unpredictable factors affecting price will include the extent of possible losses in the fall due to a reemergence of avian influenza; the supply and cost of ingredients as influenced by events in Ukraine; easing drought in the Midwest; increasing exports of eggs and products and the duration of current higher domestic consumer demand.

The forecast for 2024 includes a production of 8,145 million dozen, down 3.3 percent from 2023. Consumption will attain 287.5 per capita up a speculative 7.5 eggs or 2.7 percent above the projection for 2023. This will naturally depress prices with the NY-Large price dropping by 38.9 cents per dozen or 20.7 percent from the average for 2023.


In 2022 egg exports as shell and products combined attained 226.5 million dozen shell-equivalents, or 4.3 percent of production, down 42.2 percent from 392.0 million dozen or 4.9 percent of production in 2021. During 2022 egg imports as a result of HPAI depopulation, some in shell form but predominantly products attained 25.9 million dozen shell-equivalents, up 42.8 percent from 14.9 million dozen or 26.4 percent from 2021. For the first seven months of 2023 shell egg exports were up 10.7 million dozen, or 26.4 percent compared to the corresponding seven months in 2022 attaining 51.3 million dozen. Egg products were up 31.7 percent to 19,220 metric tons compared to the same period in 2022.


September 2023 USDA data is shown in the table below:-














% Difference



Production (m. dozen)







Consumption (eggs per capita)







New York price c/doz.)







Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook released September 18th 2023


Subscribers to EGG-NEWS are referred to the postings depicting weekly prices, volumes and trends and the monthly review of prices, exports and related industry statistics.


Egg Week


USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, September 13th 2023.


Market Overview

  • The average wholesale unit revenue values for Midwest Extra-large and Large were down 1.3 percent this past week but now conform to seasonal summer values. Medium size was unchanged from last week. This past week shell egg inventory was up 4.0 percent, following a rise of 0.2 percent the previous week. The relatively small increase in inventory was recorded despite presumed higher demand with stable to lower shelf prices for generics. Supply is higher due to a small but progressive weekly increase in the national flock through August and continuing into September. Chains have narrowed the spread between delivered cost and shelf price and lower stock levels should be anticipated. Eggs are now highly competitive in price against the comparable costs for other protein foods especially as retail margins imposed by some chains have fallen sharply due to competition from deep discounters.
  • Total industry inventory was up by 3.3 percent overall this past week to 1.76 million cases with a concurrent 0.1 percent increase in breaking stock, compared to an decrease of 2.3 percent last week. Demand for egg products is presumably higher during summer due to travel and entertainment. Egg products are required for the food service and manufacturing sectors but exports are depressed Volume this past week was higher despite an increase in the shelf prices for shell eggs. Wholesale prices compare with 2020 and 2021, also characterized by low ex-plant unit revenue. Benchmark prices were approximately $0.80 per dozen lower than the corresponding week in 2022, that was influenced by flock depletions following HPAI.
  • It is now apparent that the inventory held by chains and other significant distributors may be more important over the short term in establishing wholesale price than the USDA regional inventory figures. Changes in stock held by DCs and in the pipeline as determined by weekly orders are probably responsible for relatively small cyclic fluctuation in weekly industry stock.
  • Low unit revenue compared to pre-HPAI will persist through September. Sporadic outbreaks of HPAI are unlikely given that the seasonal Fall migration of waterfowl is two months away. The number and extent of future possible outbreaks during late fall and early winter of 2023 cannot be assessed until more information is available concerning the molecular and field epidemiology of the 2022 spring and fall waves of HPAI. The USDA has yet to identify specific modes of transmission for the 2022 epornitic including possible airborne spread from wild birds and their excreta over short distances.
  • The current relationship between producers and chain buyers based on a single commercial price discovery system constitutes an impediment to a free market. The benchmark price appears to amplify both downward and upward swings as evidenced over the past year. A CME quotation based on Midwest Large, reflecting demand relative to supply would be more equitable. If feed cost is determined by CME ingredient prices then generic shell eggs should be subject to a Midwest Large quotation.
  • According to the USDA the U.S. flock in production was up 0.2 percent or 0.6 million hens to 312.4 million during the week ending September 13th. The total flock of 318.8 million hens included about 5.0 million molted hens that will resume lay during coming weeks plus 4.0 to 5.0 million pullets attaining production. Given the latest figures it is estimated that the producing flock is still 4 to 5 million hens lower than before the onset of HPAI.
  • The ex-farm price for breaking stock was unchanged this past week at 93 cents per dozen.Checks delivered to Midwest plants were up 2.6 percent to 80 cents per dozen. Prices for breaking stock will remain low until there is a substantial increase in wholesale price for shell eggs.


The Week in Review




According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports released on September 11th the Midwest wholesale price (rounded to one cent) for Extra-large was down 1.3 percent from last week to $1.57 per dozen. Large was down 1.3 percent $1.55 cents per dozen. Mediums were unchanged at $1.11 per dozen delivered to DCs. Prices should be compared to the USDA benchmark average 6-Region blended nest-run cost of 82.9 cents per dozen as determined by the USDA for August 2023. This excludes provisions for packing, packaging materials and transport, amounting to 57 cents per dozen determined in mid-2023, from an EIC survey with low response. Currently producers of generic shell eggs are operating at break-even or negative margins depending on region and customer-supply agreements. The progression of prices during 2023 to date is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.


USDA-WASDE FORECAST #640 September 12th 2023




The USDA projected values for the production of corn and soybeans in the September 12th World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) #640 reflecting 2023 new-crop values. These were revised given the stage of crops and were based on actual area planted, long-term projections and recent U.S. weather, influenced by a transition to an El Nino, carry-forward levels from 2022, export projections and ending stocks.


With respect to the World situation it is evident that the 2023 harvest of all crops in Ukraine, a major World supplier, will be reduced by at least one third compared with pre-invasion values. The situation in Ukraine has no short-term prospect for resolution.


The September 12th 2023 WASDE report projected corn and soybean harvest data for the 2023 season. Corn will be harvested from 87.1 million acres, up 0.9 percent from the 86.3 million acres in the August WASDE. Soybeans will be harvested from 82.5 million acres, down 0.1 percent from the 82.7 million acres in the August WASDE report.


The September 2023 WASDE yield value for the new corn crop was lowered 0.7 percent from the August report to 173.8 bushels per acre from 175.1 bushels per acre due to the effect of the transitory severe drought in June and inadequate rainfall thereafter in many areas. By comparison yield was 173.3 bushels per acre in 2022. The estimate of soybean yield was reduced 1.6 percent to 50.1 bushels per acre from 50.9 bushels per acre in the August WASDE and compared to 49.5 bushels per acre in 2022.


The September 2023 USDA projection for the ending stock of corn was predicted to attain 2,221 million bushels, up 0.9 percent from 2,202 million bushels. Exports of 2,050 million bushels were unchanged from August but may be overstated for the new crop. The USDA forecast an ending stock of soybeans at 220 million bushels down 10.5 percent due to lower acreage planted and a reduction in yield.


The September 2023 WASDE held the ex-farm price of corn at $4.90 per bushel for the new crop. The projected price for soybeans was raised 20 cents to 1,290 cents per bushel from the August WASDE. Soybean Meal was unchanged at $380 per ton. The USDA price projections for corn, soybeans and soybean meal deviated as expected from the September 12th CME futures quotations for September delivery.


Projections included in the September 2023 WASDE report reflect the most recent estimates of commodity production in the Southern Hemisphere with an emphasis on Argentine and Brazil. Economists also evaluated the likely impacts from hostilities in Ukraine with occupation of 20 percent of the Nation’s land area by the Russian Federation and following extensive destruction of infrastructure. It is evident that production and hence exports of wheat, corn and sunflower from Ukraine will be sharply reduced compared to recent annual averages. Exports from Ukraine will be restricted by the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative followed by destruction of Black Sea and Danube delta port installations by the Russian Federation.


It is accepted that USDA projections for export are also based on the perceived intentions and needs of China. This Nation has sharply curtailed purchases of commodities and especially U.S. corn during the current market year despite drought and taking into effect relaxation of COVID restrictions on consumer and demand.


Reports on volumes of commodities exported are included in weekly editions of EGG-NEWS, derived from published USDA-FAS data.




Based on yield and acreage projections the corn harvest for 2023 was estimated at 15,134 million bushels compared to 13,730 million bushels in 2022. The U.S. 2023 harvest is projected to be 0.1 percent lower than the previous 2016 record harvest of 15,148 million bushels but this will depend on favorable weather until completion of the season. The “Feed and Residual” category was unchanged from August at 5,625 million bushels. The “Ethanol and Byproducts” Category was unchanged at 5,300 million bushels consistent with estimated demand for E-10 and other blends. Gasoline consumption is restrained by prevailing high prices, general inflation and changes in commuting patterns persisting from COVID restrictions. Projected corn exports were retained from August at 2,050 million bushels, based on recent orders, the volume of projected shipments to China and Mexico and taking into account the anticipated lower availability of coarse grains from Eastern Europe and drought in Argentine. Ending stocks in the September WASDE were raised 0.9 percent to 2,221 million bushels.


The forecast USDA farm price for corn in the September12th 2023 WASDE Report for the new crop was unchanged at 490 cents per bushel. At 14H00 on September 12th after release of the September WASDE the CME quotation for September delivery was 464 cents per bushel, down 2.3 percent from the quotation of August 11th for August delivery and 5.3 percent below the September USDA projection.


Crop Progress


Status of 2023 Corn and Soybean Crops


The USDA Crop Progress Report released on September 11th confirmed moderate advances in soybean and corn development, both slightly ahead of the five-year average.


Relief of drought conditions in the Midwest has stalled and is reflected in deterioration in crop condition this past week reflecting heat stress and drought over past weeks. The quality of both corn and soybeans compared to the 2022 crop for the corresponding week, is quantified in the table below. The combined highest categories of “good” and “excellent” for corn amounted to 52 percent this past week unchanged from last week and compared to 56 percent for the corresponding week in 2022. Soybean condition for the two highest categories was 52 percent this past week compared to the previous week at 53 percent and compared to 56 percent for the corresponding week in 2022. As of September 5th, 49 percent of corn acreage (was 45 percent last week) and 43 percent of soybean acreage (was 40 percent last week) were located in drought-affected regions.


Based on the sum of the “adequate” and “surplus” categories, surface and subsoil moisture levels were lower compared to the corresponding weeks in 2022. For the past week topsoil and subsoil moisture values for 2023 were both 42 percent for the two highest categories. These levels were numerically below the previous week with values of 42 percent and 43 percent respectively. The most recent values for surface and subsoil moisture can be compared with values of 51 percent and 49 percent respectively for the corresponding week in 2022. It is too early to determine whether transition to an El Nino will bring relief in coming weeks or will complicate the harvest with unseasonal rainfall.


Based on surveys, the USDA released projected production and inventory data on June 30th in the Acreage Report and the Grain Stocks Report, retrievable under the STATISTICS tab. The effect of the ongoing transition to an El Nino event will become apparent by the end of October but will not materially affect crop condition for the 2023 harvest.  


Reference is made to the September 12th WASDE Report #640 and the weekly Commodity, Economy and Energy Report in this edition, documenting acreage to be harvested, yields and ending stocks. The Pro Farmer crop tour released on August 25th projected an average corn yield for the 2023 harvest of 172 bu. per acre, down 1.0 percent from the 173.8 bu. per acre documented in the September WASDE. Soybean yield was projected at 49.7 bu. per acre, 0.8 percent below the 50.1 bu. per acre documented in the September WASDE. The USDA incorporated the results of the NASS September survey of farmers to forecast yields for 2023 corn and soybean crops that were included in the Crop Production Report  and September WASDE released on September 12th.




Sept. 3rd 2023

Sept 10th 2023

5-Year Average

Corn dough (%)




Corn dented (%)




Corn mature (%)




Corn harvested(%)





Soybean Status 18 States




Soybeans setting pods (%) 100 100 100
Soybeans dropping leaves (%) 16 31 25


Crop Condition

V. Poor





Corn 2023 (%)






Corn 2022 (%)

9 11 27 41 12

Soybeans 2023 (%)

6 12 30 43 9

Soybeans 2022 (%)

5 10 29 45 11

Parameter 48 States

V. Short





Topsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year





Subsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year







EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2023 harvest in November.






Egg Exports


Export of Shell Eggs and Products, January-July 2023.


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 divided among spring and fall waves as a result of HPAI. 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 similar production by U.S. flocks. At the present time the national flock is 4 to 5 million hens lower than pre-HPAI levels. Export volume that improved in May should continue as domestic prices have fallen sharply. It is questioned whether lost markets other than the USMCA and Caribbean nations will be reclaimed over the intermediate term.


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



Jan.-July 2022

Jan.-July 2023


Shell Eggs


Volume (m. dozen)



+10.7 ( +26.4%)

Value ($ million)



+41.1 ( +63.4%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)



+0.46 ( +28.8%)

Egg Products


Volume (metric tons)



 +4,628 (+31.7%)

Value ($ million)



+9.9 (+13.8%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)



-668 (-13.6%)






Shell egg exports from the U.S. during the first half of 2023 increased by 10.7 percent in volume and gained 63.4 percent in total value compared to January-July 2022. Unit value was $0.46 per dozen higher to $2.06 per dozen compared to the corresponding month in 2022. For July 2023 volume was up 170 percent to 6.2 million dozen and value up by 64.4 percent to $7.4 million compared to July 2022.


Canada was the leading importer of shell eggs during January-July 2023, with 26.3 million dozen representing 51.3 percent of volume and 62.0 percent of the $105.9 million total value of U.S. shipments of shell eggs. Unit price for January-July 2023 was $2.06 per dozen compared to $1.60 per dozen for 51.3 million dozen exported during January-July 2022. During July 2023 first-ranked Canada with 2.3 million dozen represented 35.5 percent of U.S. shell egg exports of 6.2 million dozen and 36.4 percent of the total value amounting to $7.4 million. These figures were respectively infinitely higher and 800 percent above corresponding volume and value for July 2022. Imports by Canada were driven by consumer demand following depletion of some domestic flocks due to HPAI. The controlled supply situation in Canada inhibits flexibility necessitating imports from the U.S. to balance availability with demand.


Mexico was the second-ranked importer of shell eggs over the first seven months of 2023 with 8.3 million dozen representing 16.2 percent of export volume and 8.6 percent of value. This discrepancy was due to a low unit value of $1.09 per dozen compared to an average value of $2.06 per dozen for all exports. During July Mexico imported 1.4 million dozen with a value of $1.6 million at a unit price of $1.14 per dozen.


Hong Kong, traditionally a large-scale importer, responsible for 21 percent of imports in 2022 was ranked third among importers of U.S. shell eggs during January-July 2023 with 3.9 million dozen valued at $4.7 million at a unit value of $1.21 per dozen. July imports attained 0.9 million dozen valued at $0.8 million.


During January-July 2023 the remaining importing nations and regions with a collective volume of 12.8 million dozen represented 24.9 percent of U.S. exports. Value of exports to these importing nations amounted to $26.4 million in January-July 2023 compared to $22.8 million million for the first seven months of 2022. Unit price for these importers averaged $2.06 per dozen, equivalent to the seven-month average USDA export price of $2.06, per dozen, tray packed, excluding processing, inland transport and cartons. The average 12-month trailing USDA benchmark price for nest-run large shell eggs was $2.26* 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: July, $2.71, August, $1.91; September $2.70; October $2.84; November, $3.40; December $4.39; January 2023, $3.26; February, $2.13; March, $2.74; April, $1.38; May, $0.63 and June, $0.82.



The total volume of exported egg products during January-July 2023 increased 31.7 percent to 19,220 metric tons compared to January-July 2022. Total value of $81.6 million was higher by 13.8 percent compared to January-July 2022. Unit value decreased by 12.6 percent to $4,246 per ton, down from the $4,914 received in January-July 2022. During 2022 the U.S. exported 25,306 metric tons of egg products valued at $115 million with a unit price of $4,572 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. During July 2023 exports of egg products increased 63.1 percent to 2,192 metric tons and value was higher by 22.1 percent to $10.5 million compared to the corresponding month in 2022.


Japan was the leading importer from the U.S. during January-July 2023 based on value of $33.7 million, with a volume of 6,977 metric tons that represented 36.3 percent of volume and 62.0 percent of the total value of U.S. exports of egg products. Exports to Japan increased by 30.6 percent in volume and 34.8 percent value compared to January-July 2022. The unit value of $4,830 per metric ton compares with the average unit value for U.S. exports of all egg products at $4,246 per metric ton or $3,912 per metric ton without Japan. During July Japan imported 813 million metric tons valued at $4.6 million, up respectively 42.1 percent and 35.2 percent from July 2022.With the conclusion of a bilateral trade agreement, the U.S. is no longer at a competitive disadvantage with respect to the E.U. In 2022 Japan imported 8,596 metric tons of egg products from the U.S., 27.2 percent less than in 2021.


Canada was the second-ranked importer based on a volume of 5,488 metric tons but fourth in value at $7.2 million among all importers during January-July 2023. Canada represented 28.6 percent of volume but 8.8 percent of value with a unit price of $1,311 per metric ton. Volumes shipped reflect restoration of the institutional and food service sectors and relative availability of domestic product in Canada.


Mexico was the third-ranked importer by volume of egg products during the January-July 2023 period receiving 3,108 metric tons from the U.S. representing 16.2 percent of volume and 19.0 percent of value with a unit price of 4,987 per metric ton. Volume for January-July 2023 was up by 162 percent and value was higher by 210 percent compared to January-July 2022. Mexico imported 497 metric tons in July 2023 compared with 186 metric tons during July 2022.


South Korea was ranked fourth among importers of egg products during the January-July 2023 period with a volume of 618 metric tons valued at $3.1 million. Most flocks in South Korea have been restored to production after depopulation following outbreaks of HPAI. In 2022 South Korea imported 2,171 metric tons valued at $7.4 million compared to 2021 imports from the U.S. that attained 5,113 metric tons valued at $13.2 million. In July Mexico was not among the top six importers of egg products.


The E.U. was ranked sixth among importers over the first seven months of 2023. Imports from the U.S. attained 604 metric tons valued at $11.6 million with a unit price of $1,921 per metric ton.



Exports of shell eggs and egg products to our USMCA neighbors were valued at $76.9 million in 2020. 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. Over the first seven months of 2023 exports valued at $97.5 million represented 52.0 percent of shell egg and egg products combined. Canada represented 67.0 percent of the $105.9 million value shell eggs and 8.8 percent of egg products valued at $87.6 million shipped during the first seven months of 2023 emphasizing dependence on this USMCA partner.


Based on considerations including landed cost, logistics, USAPEEC promotional programs and availability, prospects for long-term exports of shell eggs will be limited by price and disease considerations. 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.


With the ongoing and intensifying conflict in Ukraine, egg liquid exports from that Nation have declined sharply for the intermediate term but now availability from the U.S. will contribute to world demand.


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


Egg Monthly





  • August 2023 USDA ex-farm blended USDA nest-run benchmark price was 99.4 cents per dozen, up 19.9 percent from the July 2023 value of 82.9 cents per dozen. For comparison average USDA benchmark price over 2022 was 236.1 cents per dozen with a range of 191.1 cents per dozen in June to a high of 439.1 cents in December. Stock levels and prices prior to the onset of flock depletion due to HPAI indicated a relative seasonal balance between supply and demand. Future wholesale prices will be largely dependent on consumer demand in an inflationary and price conscious environment. Other considerations include diversion to shell sales from the egg-breaking sector. Fluctuation in wholesale price is attributed in part to the amplification of upward and downward swings due to the benchmark price discovery system in use. Restoration of seasonal prices commenced at the end of the third quarter extending into to late summer. Stability to a seasonal increase in price is expected for the remainder of September with an anticipated increase through fall. An unknown factor will be the possible return of avian influenza.
  • August 2023 USDA average nest-run production cost, applying updated inputs was down 2.4 cents per dozen to 82.9 cents per dozen compared to the July 2023 value of 85.3 cents per dozen, mainly attributable to a 4.7 percent lower average feed cost per dozen.
  • August 2023 USDA benchmark nest-run margin attained a positive value of 16.5 cents per dozen compared to a negative margin of (2.4) cents per dozen for July 2023. Average nest-run monthly margin over 2022 was 155 cents per dozen.
  • The July 2023 national flock in production (over 30,000 hens per farm) was down 0.3 percent or 2.0 million hens (rounded) to 298.6 from the June 2023 value of 301.0 million. Approximately 3.5 million hens returned to production from molt in August together with projected maturation of 22.0 million pullets, with this number offset by depletion of spent flocks. From February through mid-December 2022, approximately 44 million hens were depopulated to control HPAI during spring and fall waves reducing the producing flock by an approximate constant weekly average of 20 million hens during 2022.
  • July 2023 pullet chick hatch of 25.2 million was down 13.4 percent or 3.9 million from June 2023.
  • July 2023 exports of shell eggs and products combined was down 23.7 percent from June 2023 to 415,300 case equivalents representing the theoretical production of 5.9 million hens.



Summary tables for the latest USDA August 2023 prices and flock statistics made available by the EIC on September 8th 2023 are arranged, summarized, tabulated and compared with values from the previous August 11th 2023 posting reflecting June and July 2023 costs and production data as applicable. Monthly comparisons of production data and costs are based on revised USDA values.




JULY 2023


5-Region Cost of Production ex farm (1st Cycle)1

85.3 c/doz

82.9 c/doz


82.1c/doz (MW)

79.5 c/doz (MW)


93.1 c/doz (N.West)

91.4c/doz (N.West)

Components of USDA 6-Region 1stCycle nest-run Cost of Production updated by the EIC in May 2023 following an industry survey:-

Note: 1. Rounded to decimal of a cent


JULY 2023

 AUGUST 2023


45.8 c/doz


Pullet depreciation

12.7 c/doz

12.4 c/doz

Labor (estimate) plus


Housing (estimate) plus



Miscellaneous and other*


* Adjusted May 2023

Ex Farm Margin (rounded to nearest cent) according to USDA values reflecting AUGUST 2023:-


USDA Data On Cage-Free Production For August 2023


EGG-NEWS summarizes and comments on data and trends in the monthly USDA Cage-Free Report. This data is correlated and interpreted in the WeeklyEggPrice and Inventory Report posted on EGG-NEWS mailed on Fridays each week.


The USDA Cage-Free Report covering August 2023, released on September 1st 2023, documented a 3.8 percent increase in the complement of hens producing under the Certified Organic Program to 18.9 million (rounded to 0.1 million). The number of hens classified as cage-free (but excluding Certified Organic) and comprising aviary, barn and other systems of housing was up 2.7 percent from July 2023 to 105.8 million. Hen numbers posted by the USDA over successive months or quarters are questioned if they demonstrate erratic fluctuation as between July and August, or are too similar. This is based on the reality of a continuing cycle of placing pullets and depletion of old hens and with limited application of molting. The respective numbers of hens claimed for organic and cage-free flocks should reflect chick placements and correspond to monthly supply data and inventory over successive quarters.


Average weekly egg production for Certified Organic in August 2023 was up 4.2 percent compared to July 2023 with a hen-month average production of 83.4 percent. Average weekly flock production for cage free flocks other than Certified Organic was up in August 2023 by 3.0 percent with an average hen month production of 82.3 percent. Seasonally, younger flocks increase the availability of cage-free and organic eggs in response to pullet chick placements laid down 22 weeks previously in anticipation of peak seasonal demand periods. August data reflected a higher proportion of younger flocks derived from pullet chicks placed during February 2023.


Flock Size Average

(million hens)






Q2- 2023


Q1 - 2023


Q4 - 2022


Q3 - 2022

Certified Organic







Cage-Free Hens







Total Non-Caged







Average Weekly Production (cases)





Certified Organic @ 83.4% hen/day


305,986 +4.2%

Cage-Free @ 82.3% hen/day


1,693,372 +3.0%

Total Non-Caged @ 82.5% hen/day


1,999,358 +3.3%

Average Nest Run Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.68/doz. (May ‘22 through March ‘23: $1.64)

August Range:

$1.35 to $2.35/doz. (unchanged since March)

FOB Negotiated July price, grade quality, nest-run.

Loose. Price range $1.10 to $1.25 per dozen

Average August 2023 Value of $1.19/doz.

($1.20/doz. July)

Average August Advertised National Retail Price C-F,

Large Brown

$3.10/doz. August 2023 (5 regions)

(was $3.29/doz. July)

USDA Based on 5-Regions, 2,312 stores

 High: $3.30/doz. (MW. 312 stores)

 Low: $2.56/doz. (SW. 383 stores)


Negotiated nest-run gradeable cage-free price for August 2023 averaged $1.19 per dozen down by 0.8 percent from $1.20 per dozen in July 2023, reflecting lower demand relative to supply and a slight deterioration in seasonal wholesale prices. The August 2023 advertised U.S. retail price for cage-free eggs over five regions (excluding NW, AK and HI) was $3.10 per dozen down 5.8 percent from July over 2,312 stores.


The apparent disparity between a recorded average wholesale price of $1.19 per dozen plus a provision of 60 cents per dozen for packaging, packing and transport in relation to the average 5-region retail price of $3.10 indicates a retail margin of 117 percent (125 percent last week) over wholesale price for packed eggs delivered to a DC. Margins are presumed higher for pastured and other specialty eggs at shelf prices reaching $8.00 per dozen. Chains that are maximizing margins especially on Certified Organic, free-range and pastured categories restrict volume of sales, ultimately disadvantageous to producers.


Based on the importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issue the Cage-Free 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 at the end of a quarter or from the previous month, or alternatively 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. Price data is available each week from other USDA reports.


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


USDA Agricultural Prices Report


THE USDA Agricultural Prices Report released August 31st 2022 documented July prices for agricultural commodities and expenditures.


 The USDA ERS summarised prices as follows:-


July Prices Received Index Down 2.1 Percent


“The July Prices Received Index 2011 Base (Agricultural Production), at 124.7, decreased 2.1 percent from June and 7.0 percent from July 2022. At 118.7, the Crop Production Index was down 1.2 percent from last month and 4.9 percent from the previous year. The Livestock Production Index, at 132.4, decreased 2.0 percent from June, and 9.4 percent from July last year. Producers received lower prices during July for broilers, corn, milk, and hay, but higher prices for hogs, lettuce, soybeans, and strawberries. In addition to prices, the volume change of commodities marketed also influences the indexes. In July, there was decreased marketing of cattle, milk, broilers, and hogs, but increased monthly movement for wheat, grapes, hay, and cotton”.


July Prices Paid Index was up 0.1 Percent

“The July Prices Paid Index for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW), at 138.7, is up 0.1 percent from June 2023, but unchanged from July 2022. Higher prices in July for feeder cattle, concentrates, diesel, and LP gas more than offset lower prices for hay & forages, feed grains, nitrogen, and complete feeds”.


Corn farmers received $6.32 per bushel in July 2023 compared to $7.25 per bushel in July 2022, up 12.8 percent.


Soybean farmers received $14.70 per bushel in July 2023 compared to $15.50 per bushel in July 2022, down 5.2 percent.


The July market egg price, at 95.0 cents per dozen, was $1.60 lower than July 2022. The year-on-year decrease is attributed to restoration of production following the disequilibrium between supply and demand attributed to HPAI. This infection resulted in depletion of 44 million hens with a reduction of 20 million producing birds in the supply flock on average from mid-2022 onwards. This situation was coupled with increased demand as consumers increased purchases of eggs representing a competitively priced protein source in an inflationary environment.


Planted Acreage Report


The June 30th 2023 Planted Acreage report documented the respective areas planted to corn and soybeans, the two commodities of relevance to the poultry industry. The USDA confirmed:-


Corn-planted area for all purposes in 2023 is estimated at 94.1 million acres, up six percent or 5.52 million acres from last year. This represents the third highest planted acreage in the United States since 1944. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 43 of the 48 estimating States. Area harvested for grain, at 86.3 million acres, is up nine percent from last year.


Soybean-planted area for 2023 is estimated at 83.5 million acres, down five percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage is down or unchanged in 21 of the 29 estimating States.


Together with the Grain Stocks report the Planted Acreage data moved the market for corn and soybeans by about five percent but in contrasting directions.


For corn the acreage was above the most optimistic projection although offset by a lower stock. At 14H30 on the CME after the release of the two USDA reports, corn was down 25 cents per bushel to 556 cents for July delivery and for September, corn was down 34 cents per bushel to 489 cents.


For soybeans the reduced acreage and consequently lower ending stocks was bullish for the new crop. At 14H30 CME soybeans were up 75 cents per bushel to 1,558 cents for July delivery and for September the soybean price was up 73 cents per bushel to 1,354 cents.


USDA Grain Stocks Report


The USDA quarterly Grain Stocks Report released on June 30th 2023, documented storage of the major commodities, classified according to on-site and remote facilities including elevators and commercial installations. Quantities of corn and soybeans, the two major commodities relevant to the cost of poultry production were:-

CORN stored in all locations on June 1st 2023 totaled 4.11 billion bushels, down six percent from June 1st, 2022. Of the total stock, 2.22 billion bushels are stored on farms, up five percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 1.89 billion bushels, are down 15 percent from a year ago. The indicated disappearance over the period March to May quarter of 2023 is 3.29 billion bushels, compared with 3.41 billion bushels during the same period last year.


SOYBEANS stored in all locations on June 1st 2023 totaled 796 million bushels, down 18 percent from June 1st 2022. On-farm stocks totaled 323 million bushels, down 3 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 473 million bushels, are down 26 percent from a year ago. The indicated disappearance for the March - May 2023 quarter of 2023 totaled 891 million bushels, down eight percent from the same period a year earlier.


Prices and commentary are incorporated in the Weekly Commodity and Energy Report posted each week and a summary of the WASDE #637 released on June 9th is retrievable under the STATISTICS tab.


USDA-ERS Predicts Egg Prices for 2023


According to USDA economists, retail egg prices increased by 8.5 percent in January 2023, approximately 70.1 percent above January 2022.  The USDA-ERS now predicts that egg prices will increase by 37.8 percent in 2023 but with a wide range of 18.3 to 62.3 percent attributed to volatility.  Concurrently the USDA-ERS predicted a 4.7 percent increase in the price of meats, 7.2 percent for dairy products and 12.8 percent for cereals and bakery products.


Wholesale farm-level egg prices are predicted to increase by 7.4 percent in 2023 with a wide prediction interval of -32.6 to 76.1 percent.  Egg prices are extremely volatile, complicating reliable predictions.


EGG-NEWS will monitor weekly USDA wholesale prices by region and average retail prices to document retail margins.


USDA Agricultural Prices Report


THE USDA Agricultural Prices Report released December 30th 2022 posted November prices for agricultural commodities and expenditures.


The USDA ERS summarised prices as follows:-


Egg-News“The November Prices Received Index (2011 as a base) for Agricultural Production was 133.4, an increase of 4.5 percent from October 2022 and 23 percent from November 2021. At 127.1, the Crop Production Index was up 4.3 percent from last month and 19 percent from the previous year. The Livestock Production Index, at 143.4, increased 3.2 percent from October and 30 percent from November last year. Producers received higher prices during November for lettuce, soybeans, market eggs and cattle but lower prices for hogs, hay, milk, and cotton. In addition to prices, the volume change of commodities marketed also influences the indexes. In November, there was increased monthly movement for corn, milk, cattle, and cotton and decreased marketing of soybeans, grapes, lettuce, and wheat.”


“The November Prices Paid Index for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW), at 137.1, was unchanged from October 2022 but up 11 percent from November 2021. Higher prices for feeder cattle, feeder pigs, concentrates, and nitrogen offset lower prices for other services, hay and forages, complete feeds, and other machinery”.

Corn farmers received $6.49 per bushel in November 2022 compared to $5.26 per bushel in November 2021, up 23.4 percent.


Soybean farmers received $14.00 per bushel in November 2022 compared to $12.10 per bushel in November 2021, up 15.7 percent.


Egg farmers received $3.34 per dozen for table eggs in November 2022 compared to $1.09 per dozen in November 2022, up 206.4 percent. The sharp year-on-year increase is attributed to disequilibrium between supply and demand. Highly pathogenic avian influenza resulted in depletion of 44 million hens with a reduction of 20 million producing birds in the supply flock on average from mid 2022 onwards. This situation was coupled with increased demand as consumers increased purchases of eggs representing a competitively priced protein source in an inflationary environment.


2022 Corn and Soybean Harvest Report


The USDA Crop Progress Report released on November 14th documented continued progress in harvesting both soybean and corn crops as the season winds down.


Corn is 8 percent ahead of the 4-year average having advanced 6 percent during the past week. The harvest in 2022 is three percent ahead of the corresponding week in 2021.


The soybean harvest advanced 2 percent to 96 percent, 5 percent ahead of both the 4-year average and the corresponding week in 2021.


EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the remainder of November.           



October 16th

October 23rd

4-Year Average

Corn Dented (%)

Corn Mature (%)

Corn Harvested (%)










Soybeans Setting Pods (%)

Soybeans Dropping Leaves (%)

Soybeans Harvested (%)










The November 9th WASDE #630 estimated the average U.S corn yield at 172.3 bushels per acre (176.7 bushels per acre in 2021) with a 2022 harvest of 13,930 million bushels. The soybean yield was projected at 50.2 bushels per acre (51.7 bushels per acre in 2021) with a 2022 harvest of 4,346 million bushels.


The November WASDE #630 is retrievable under the STATISTICS Tab.