GERMANY - Following the early introduction of the ban on battery cages for laying hens in Germany, self-sufficiency in eggs tumbled but by 2012, it had recovered to the pre-ban level of 72 per cent.
A ban on conventional battery cages came into force in Germany in January 2010, two years ahead of the ban across the European Union.
Statistics from the German Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) reveals how egg production declined in the years leading up to and immediately after the introduction of the new housing legislation; total production from all but the smallest flocks fell from more than 12.7 billion eggs in 2008 to 10.6 billion in 2010. However, since then, the German domestic egg industry has recovered and in 2012, output exceeded 13.4 billion eggs.
Over this time period, imports of shell eggs and egg products increased to cover lost domestic production. By 2012, per-capita consumption - at 217 eggs or 13.3kg - was higher than four years previously.
At almost 72 per cent, self-sufficiency in eggs in 2012 has returned to the level of 2008.
Also of note in these statistics is a higher but stable level of egg product imports since 2010 of a little over two billion eggs and egg product exports equivalent to more than 700 million eggs.
Hatching eggs have increased markedly from 818 million in 2008 to 992 million in 2012 - a rise of 21 per cent.
|German egg supply (millions)|
|Total production 1||12,736||11,275||10,683||12,618||13,419|
|Imports of shell eggs||6,150||7,646||8,428||6,799||6,600|
|Imports of egg products
(in shell-egg equivalent)
|Exports of shell eggs||1,931||2,007||2,011||2,291||2,505|
|Exports of egg products
(in shell-egg equivalent)
|Total egg use||17,909||18,098||18,401||18,356||18,731|
|- of which, hatching eggs||818||882t||889||982||992|
|Total egg consumption||17,091||17,216||17,512||17,374||17,739|
|- Eggs per person||208||210||214||212||217|
|- Per-capita consumption (kg)||12.7||13.0||13.3||13.1||13.3|
|Self sufficiency (%)||71.6||61.9||57.4||68.2||71.7|
|1 excludes small producers
Sources: BLE and MEG
The latest figures for egg use, for 2009, show 52 per cent of eggs being purchased by households, 32 per cent by food companies (as egg products) and 16 per cent by large institutions and bakeries.
Consumer prices for 10 eggs in the first two months of this year were €1.35 to €1.38 for barn/floor eggs, €1.75 to €1.77 for free-range and €2.89 to €2.91 for organic eggs.
Almost half of egg purchases in 2012 were from discounters. Comparing 2012 with 2011, consumers bought proportionally more eggs from discounters and supermarkets and fewer from weekly markets and directly from producers.
Further ReadingGo to our previous news item on the German egg market by clicking here.
Top image via Shutterstock