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Egg market may pick up as flock set to drop in December

graphic for egg market

The egg trade rallied in late August, taking wholesale prices back to levels last seen in the Spring.

As if on cue, the seasonal pull that usually arrives at the end of August has helped stabilise the market from the top sizes down, although medium and small free-range eggs are still dampening prices.

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Large colony eggs have gained over 30p/doz since hitting their low point in July and are now back at the top of their range during the past year or more.

Large free-range, the size in most demand at retail, have also gained more than 30p/doz on their summer low but are still 10p/doz or more below where they were in the first quarter of the year.

“We are seeing the seasonal adjustment at the end of August and into September, when things normally pick up,” said Andy Crossland at the CEA.

Large colony

He said that that demand for large colony eggs was “pushing the market along”, mainly because of the number of colony birds that had been taken out during the summer months.


“These eggs are pretty scarce, with lots of interest from
both packers and wholesalers alike,” said Mr Crossland.

“Continental values are similar to ours if not a little bit higher, so everybody’s looking for UK egg at the minute.

“There are signs of retail picking up as well, but there’s an ongoing problem with the amount of medium free-range around.

“We’ve also got a lot of small free-range on the board, while mediums have only really recovered on the back of colony.”

The dire situation in the egg trade in July also led to a sharp fall in day-old pullet placings for that month, by 1.2m – or 26% – on a year earlier, according to the latest figures from Defra.

As a result, flock size will drop substantially in December, to its lowest point for 18 months, which should add further strength to the market by the end of the year.