Spanish Egg Producers Willing to Make Up US Shortfall

US - In response to the avian influenza outbreak in the US and the subsequent demand for eggs in the US market, Spanish egg producers are angling to export eggs to the country.
calendar icon 29 June 2015
clock icon 4 minute read

Due to avian influenza in the US, domestic production is unable to meet the demand especially by the US processed foods sector.

The United States, a leading supplier of eggs in the world, has gone from a production surplus of 4 per cent to a shortage of around 10 per cent.

The US Food industry is pressuring the government to allow egg imports from the EU. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA has received numerous inquiries regarding the requirements to import shell eggs and other egg products into the United States.

The government already approved the purchase of egg products from the Netherlands and started the paperwork to endorse the imports of shell eggs from Spain.

Today, the Spanish egg production represents 4.9 per cent of Livestock Final Product and 1.8 per cent of Final Agricultural Product.

In Spain, according to the Ministry of Agriculture official data, there are 1,172 egg farms with 40 million laying hens, placing Spain in fourth position within the EU-28 after Italy, France and Germany, from which 93 per cent are located in enriched cages.

The egg production is located 27 per cent in Castile La Mancha, 17 per cent in Castile Leon, 11 per cent in Aragon and 7 per cent in Catalonia, Valencia and Andalusia.

In 2014 Spain produced 798,000 tons of eggs or 982 million dozen eggs, 1 per cent lower than previous year. Spanish egg per capita consumption is 13.1 kg.

Spain’s egg production registers a structural surplus of eggs since 2005, that in 2014 reached 122 per cent.

Spain is therefore a net exporter of eggs (mainly table eggs) and exports were up 21 per cent with 187,000 tons, following the upward trend since 2012.

Intra EU-28 egg exports grew in quantity in 2014 following the upward trend, and table eggs exports to third countries were up 42 per cent in 2014 reaching 16,701 tons.

The egg industry of Spain is in an internationalisation process. At this time Spanish extra EU exports are growing in Africa such as Angola, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Libya or Liberia, and in Asia such as Oman, Israel, Arab Emirates or Hong Kong.

As a consequence of the new animal health situation in the United States Spanish egg producers may take advantage of the shortage of egg products. Besides, this increase demand is reflected in an egg price growth in the United States.

The price of eggs in the US has reached a record level due to the shortage of supply. The average egg price expected for 2015 is 1.63 US dollars per dozen.

It is expected that the average egg price will increase to 1.80 dollars per dozen in the fourth quarter of 2015. In 2014, the average price of eggs was 1.42 dollars per dozen.

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