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Wholesale egg prices strong in January and early February

3dmentat/iStock/Thinkstock White eggs lined up in neat rows
Lower December exports put an end to nine-month trend of monthly year-over-year increases.

January wholesale shell-egg prices (New York, Grade A Large) averaged $1.45 per dozen, a 32.8% year-over-year increase, according to USDA’s latest “Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook.”

Although they followed the seasonal trend, USDA said January average prices were significantly higher than expected. This trend has continued through early February, with prices reaching a high of $1.89 per dozen.

Because of the strong January and early February prices, USDA raised its first-quarter price forecast to $1.50 per dozen. Each subsequent quarter was increased as follows: Q2 to $1.25 per dozen, Q3 to $1.15 per dozen, and Q4 to $1.35 per dozen. These changes bring USDA’s wholesale egg price forecast for 2022 to $1.31 per dozen, a 10.8% year-over-year increase.

USDA NASSegg prices USDA 2.22.png

December exports close lower

According to the report, December exports of egg and egg products totaled 30 million dozen shell-egg equivalent, an 8% year-over-year decrease. The decrease was driven by a 13% decrease in shell egg shipments that more than offset a 1% increase in egg product shipments, USDA said.

The December export data puts an end to the nine-month trend of monthly year-over-year increases, the agency added.

In 2021, exports of egg and egg products totaled 392.3 million dozen shell-egg equivalent, which USDA said is the highest value since 2015 and 14% above 2020 shipment levels. The top five market destinations for volume in 2021, covering about 85% of the shipments, were Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

Looking ahead to 2022, USDA lowered the egg and egg products forecast to 355 million shell-dozen equivalent, a 9.5% year-over-year decrease.

Imports of egg and egg products for 2021 totaled 18.2 million dozen shell-egg equivalent, a 17.5% year-over-over increase. Based on recent import data, USDA raised the 2022 import forecast to 18 million dozen shell-egg equivalent, a 1.1% year-over-year decrease.

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