UK Egg Statistics - Fourth Quarter 2008

UK - The throughput of eggs through UK packing stations in 2008 was 24.68 million cases - 4.9 per cent more than in 2007. The increase came largely from free-range production, which now accounts for almost one in every three eggs produced in the UK.
calendar icon 4 February 2009
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The latest figures for the fourth quarter (Q4) and for 2008 were published by the UK Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) at the end of January. Among the highlights of the report are:

  • At 6.221 million cases [1 case = 360 eggs], packing station throughput in the UK for Q4 was also 4.9 per cent higher than the same period of last year, continuing the upward trend for 2008.
  • Total output for the year was 24.68 million cases, 4.9 per cent more than in 2007, with increases in all three areas (England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).
  • The analysis of packing station output by production type shows some significant changes:
    • Of all UK eggs in 2008, 58.3 per cent (14.395 million cases) were from caged birds, 1.0 per cent down from the 2007 figure.
    • Free-range eggs (8.0 million cases) now account for 32.4 per cent of all eggs produced. This represents a spectacular 19.5 per cent increase compared to 2007.
    • At 1.359 million cases, organic production provides 5.6 per cent of UK egg output, marginally down on the previous year.
    • At 926,000 cases, barn eggs account for 3.8 per cent of production and show a 1.2 per cent fall compared to 2007.
  • Average packer-to-producer prices were 7.0 per cent higher in Q4 than the same period in 2007: the weighted average price in Q4 2008 was 67.3 pence per dozen.
    • Average cage egg prices were 8.0 per cent higher than those of Q4 2007 at 50.8 pence per dozen.
    • Free-range eggs prices averaged 84.6 pence in Q4, well down from the peak of 93.2 pence (in Q2 2008) but 2.3 pence per dozen more than Q4 2007.
    • The average price of barn eggs was 72.4 pence per dozen, continuing an upward trend since Q4 2006.
  • UK egg processors bought 1.413 million cases of eggs in Q4, bringing the total for 2008 to 5.902 million cases, 2.0 per cent less than 2007.
  • Processed egg output was 24,866 tonnes for the quarter, down 6.4 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2007.
  • For the year as a whole, egg product output in 2008 was 103,991 tonnes, a fall of 1.5 per cent on the figure for 2007. Most of the reduction was in liquid and frozen whole eggs.
  • At 588,900 cases, UK shell egg exports for the period December 2007 to November 2008 continued a generally slow but upward trend but trade is dominated by imports of 4.413 million cases.
  • The situation is similar for egg products: the 12-month moving average for exports was up to 247,900 cases, while imports were 2.960 million cases.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.
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