Egg Industry - June 2018 - 18
18 ❙ EggIndustry
Economic challenges of
converting to cage-free eggs
An economist looks at some of the challenges the US egg industry
faces as cage-free purchase pledges from major retail and food
service customers loom on the horizon.
The number of eggs consumed per
person has to do with the retail price
of the product. When consumers
are presented with various prices of
eggs, they tend to choose the lowestpriced option, explained Maro
Ibarburu, business analyst, Egg
Industry Center. "This is the reason
why conventional eggs are still 84
percent of the market," he said.
The U.S. has one of the world's
lowest egg production costs, according to 2016 International
Egg Commission statistics. This
cost-advantage has helped the
U.S. maintain egg exports of 3 to
5 percent of production annually.
This helps maintain prices when
U.S. consumers are not keeping
up with the amount of eggs being
provided on retail shelves.
A relatively small change
in supply can result in a large
change in price. Ibarburu told the
audience at the Midwest Poultry
Federation Convention that egg
exports help reduce the magnitude
of wholesale egg price swings.
"Thankfully, after last year in
2017, we are coming back to a
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2018