Published on Oct. 31, 2023
Layer Vision 29 now available to read
The global egg market serves as a vital pillar in the agriculture and food industry, furnishing an affordable and versatile protein source to people worldwide. Within this landscape, the interplay of factors such as supply and demand, production methods, trade regulations, consumer preferences, and technological innovations shapes its dynamics. This elucidation seeks to offer a nuanced understanding of the key dynamics driving the global egg market, tailored to resonate with stakeholders within the global egg industry, featuring examples from various countries. In our latest Layer Vision magazine, we tried to explain the dynamics of the Global Egg Market.
Supply and Demand:
The demand for eggs varies across countries due to diverse population growth rates, dietary habits, and economic conditions. For instance, India, with its burgeoning population and dietary preference for vegetarian options, presents a colossal market for eggs as a protein source. Conversely, in countries like the United States, shifts towards health-conscious eating have driven demand for specialty eggs, including omega-3 enriched and organic varieties. In Europe we see a growing demand for eggs free of practices of culling the day-old layer males. These variations in demand can heavily influence production levels and, subsequently, market prices.
Countries are adopting varying production practices to align with evolving consumer preferences and regulatory frameworks. European nations like Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany have led the charge in transitioning from conventional cage systems to aviary and free-range systems, driven by both consumer demands for animal welfare and stringent regulations. In the United States and the United Kingdom, major supermarkets have pledged to sell only cage-free eggs, indicating a shift towards more humane practices. Such changes in production practices reflect the industry’s responsiveness to evolving societal norms.
Trade and Globalization:
Globalization has engendered intricate trade networks within the egg industry. The Netherlands stands as a prime example, exporting a significant proportion of its egg production to neighboring countries. This strategic trade approach helps balance supply and demand fluctuations and capitalizes on differences in production costs. Additionally, countries like Brazil and the United States have significantly increased egg exports to meet growing demand in international markets. Trade agreements and regulatory harmonization play pivotal roles in shaping cross-border egg flows.
Consumer Preferences and Health Awareness:
Consumer preferences drive the demand for specialty eggs in various countries. In Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, for instance, consumers value high-quality eggs with vibrant yolks, and firm Haugh units, and have embraced technological advancements to ensure consistent quality. Meanwhile, the rise of flexitarian diets in Australia has heightened the demand for cage-free and organic eggs, reflecting a growing awareness of ethical considerations. Millennials, the generation known for their tech-savviness and conscious consumer choices, approach buying eggs with a unique lens. For them, the decision to purchase eggs extends beyond mere convenience. They seek transparency in sourcing, demanding information on production methods, animal welfare practices, and environmental impact. Specialty eggs, such as special colored, organic, free-range, and omega-3 enriched, resonate with their preference for ethical and sustainable options. The egg industry’s ability to tailor its offerings to all these kinds of consumer preferences underscores its excellent adaptability.
Technological innovations have transformed egg production globally. Countries like China have embraced automation and data-driven approaches, optimizing efficiency in large-scale operations. India, too, has incorporated technology, with automated egg collection systems enhancing productivity. In the United States, precision nutrition and genetics are central to increasing egg yield and quality. These technological strides not only improve productivity but also cater to the evolving demands of diverse markets.
Countries are increasingly integrating sustainability practices into egg production. In Denmark and the Netherlands, for instance, poultry producers are focusing on reducing their environmental footprint through optimized feed and energy use. Several European countries have witnessed a surge in demand for white eggs, driven by a desire for more sustainable choices as white eggs have a lower carbon footprint. In the United Kingdom, you can already buy eggs from which you can check the actual carbon footprint. And the Dekalb White laying hens at the Kipster farms deal with upcycled chicken feed, partly made of leftovers from food manufacturers (like bakeries). These trends reflect a broader global movement toward more ecologically responsible production methods within the egg industry.
The future looks bright:
That the global egg sector is developing rapidly is shown by the 2010-2020 evolution in egg production in the G-19 countries in below table, which has been created by Professor emeritus Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst and based on the FAO database. For the future it is expected that countries like India, Indonesia and Turkey will experience further growth in their share on the global egg market.
|2010 Production||2010 Share (%)||2020 Country||2020 Production||2020 Share (%)||Change (t) 2020-2010|
|Un. Kingd.||0,658||1||Un. Kingd.||0,774||0,9||+ 0,116|
|Korea, R.||0,59||0,9||Korea, R.||0,735||0,8||+ 0,145|
|S. Africa||0,413||0,6||S. Africa||0,594||0,7||+ 0,181|
|S. Arabia||0,219||0,3||S. Arabia||0,351||0,4||+ 0,132|
|G 19||48,48||74,8||G 19||67,098||77,4||18,618|
The global egg market's dynamics are a confluence of factors unique to each country, encompassing supply and demand dynamics, production practices, trade patterns, consumer preferences, technological advancements, and sustainability efforts. By recognizing and embracing these country-specific nuances, the global egg industry can effectively navigate this complex landscape, capitalize on opportunities, and address challenges to continue providing a vital and sustainable protein source to a diverse global audience. As a breeding company we closely follow all these market dynamics and we actively anticipate on these via adjusting our breeding goals and with our diversified product portfolio.