UK egg laying flock set to slim down further

70% of UK egg farmers could leave the sector if prices don't improve
calendar icon 20 May 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

According to a market report by the UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), margins for laying producers have become increasingly tight, as feed, energy and labour costs continue to rise with little to no increase in the purchase price from retailers to compensate.

According to a survey carried out by the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (Bfrepa) in mid-April, 51% of farmers said they would consider stopping production until prices improve, with more than 70% saying they would leave egg production altogether within a year if a price rise from retailers did not happen.

Looking at the latest Defra data, since December, placings of commercial layer chicks have been down considerably on year earlier levels, which means that there will be a further contraction in domestic laying flock.

Feed for layers (including IPU) makes up around 20% of total poultry feed production in GB and around 10% of total GB animal feed production (including IPU). If we do see a further contraction in the domestic egg laying flock, then this will have an impact on feed production, and in turn a reduction in cereal usage.

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