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USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

02/05/2019

Based on the importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues a monthly report on volumes and prices for the information of Industry stakeholders. There is some doubt as to the accuracy of the monthly flock numbers and the question is raised whether it would not be more desirable to post accurate quarterly data in place of unconvincing monthly figures with similar hen data for consecutive months.

EGG-NEWS summarizes and comments on data and trends in the monthly USDA Cage-Free Report, supplementing the information posted weekly in the EGG-NEWS Egg Weekly Price and Inventory Report.

The USDA Cage Free Report for the month of January 2019 released on February 5th 2019 documented constant flock sizes in hens producing under the Certified Organic seal and for cage-free flocks as compared to the values for October through December 2018. The respective numbers of hens in organic and cage-free flocks should reflect the realities of supply and demand in the market over successive quarters. Average flock production was held at 75.75 percent for both categories of non-caged hens (accepting USDA data) although there were differences in placement programs and hen age among months :-

Flock size '18 (million hens)

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct. '18 through Jan. 2019

Certified Organic

15.6

15.6

15.6

15.6

15.7

15.7

Cage-free hens

38.9

39.1

39.1

39.1

41.4

41.5

Total non-caged

54.5

54.7

54.7

54.7

57.1

57.2

 

Average weekly production cases, January 2019

Certified Organic

231,042 unchanged from Dec. '18

Cage-free

610,819 unchanged from Dec. '18

Total non-caged

841,861 unchanged from Dec. '18

 

Average Wholesale Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.56/doz. Unchanged since Nov. '18

Range unchanged at:

$1.15 to $2.10/doz.

FOB Negotiated price, grade quality nest- run, loose

Average down 15.9 percent from December with wider spread

$0.98 to $1.55/doz. (Av. $1.27/doz)

was $1.20 to $1.51 (Av. 1.36/doz.)

 

Average Advertised National Retail Price C-F, L, Brown

$2.48/doz. (was $2.47 Dec. 2018)

USDA 6-Region

High: NE

$2.94/doz. $2.76 (Dec.)

 

Low: MW

$2.14/doz. $2.24 SC.

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