By Simon M. Shane, Editor
The 2009 International Egg Commission (IEC) Conference which took place in Shanghai, Peoples Republic
of China, was attended by 370 delegates from 36 countries. The annual event provided an insight into world trends
in production and trade and a perspective on marketing in
individual IEC member nations.
The selection of China as the host country was in recognition of the dominant position of the nation which represents
41% of world production with as many as 1. 4 billion hens,
nearly 5. 5 times larger than the United States, the second
87 billion dozen in 2007
During 2007, world egg production attained 62.6 million
metric tons corresponding to 87 billion dozen from approximately 3. 5 billion hens, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. It is recognized
that hen numbers do not directly correspond to production
as performance standards vary widely among nations and
are influenced by housing system, nutrition, strain, climatic
and disease factors.
From 2006 to 2007 there was a modest increase of 0.8%
in world production with China and India leading with expansion of 2% and 2.5% respectively. In the European Union
(EU), now comprising 27 nations, overall expansion from
2006 to 2007 attained 1.1% with the greatest contribution
from Spain at 12%.
Netherlands largest exporter
The world’s largest exporters
of egg are the Netherlands with
23% of world trade comprising
267 million tons in 2005 followed
by Malaysia with 11% of world
trade, mainly sales to neighboring
Singapore. Germany is the largest
importer with 24% of all imports
amounting to 273 million metric tons
but this is partly offset by exports of 96
million metric tons.
China is almost in balance with exports
of 81 million metric tons and imports of 92
million metric tons. Changes in production volume
and the quantity of imports and exports were recorded during 2007 within the expanded EU. Belgium, Germany and
France all showed double digit declines with Poland emerging as a significant producer and exporter.
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Center offers higher education
A presentation of interest to U.S. producers was made by
Dr. Pat Curtis, director of the U.S. National Egg Processing
Center at Auburn University. This multi-institutional initiative presents training programs, workshops and egg-related
courses at university and professional levels.
The establishment of the Egg Processing Center, with input from North Carolina State University and the University
of Georgia, will help offset the loss of training facilities with
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