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UK Egg Statistics

01 February 2012

UK Egg Statistics - February 2012UK Egg Statistics - February 2012

The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on UK egg packing, processing and trade were released on 02 February 2012 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
UK Egg Statistics Reports

Key points

This release shows quarterly information on egg production, usage and prices. It also includes monthly information on the trade in eggs and egg products. The key results are given below:

  • 26,921 thousand cases of eggs were packed during 2011.
  • Free range and organic eggs accounted for 47% of eggs packed in the UK during 2011, compared with 45% during 2010.
  • The average packer to producer price for all eggs packed during 2011, was 70.0 pence per dozen, compared with 70.1 pence per dozen during 2010.


UK packing station throughput by country (Table 2.1) shows that a total of 5 million cases of eggs were packed in England and Wales during quarter 4 of 2011. 0.9 million cases of eggs were packed in Scotland during quarter 4 of 2011, and 0.7 million cases of eggs were packed in Northern Ireland during quarter 4 of 2011.

UK packing station throughput by type (Table 2.2) shows that during quarter 4 of 2011, laying cage eggs accounted for 49%, free range eggs accounted for 45% and barn and organic eggs combined accounted for 7% of the total throughput.

The percentage split of graded eggs by size (Table 2.3) shows that during quarter 4 of 2011, 5% of throughput were very large eggs, 42% were large eggs, 43% were medium eggs and small eggs accounted for 4%. Graded seconds accounted for 7% of total throughput.

The weighted average ‘packer to producer’ price of all eggs (Table 2.4) for quarter 4 of 2011 was 71.4 pence per dozen. This was an increase of 3% compared to the same period in 2010.

The number of eggs bought by UK processors (Table 2.5) during quarter 4 of 2011 totalled 1.28 million cases.

UK egg processors produced 25 thousand tonnes of egg products in quarter 4 of 2011 (Table 2.6). Liquid and frozen eggs accounted for 69% of the total production which for quarter 4 of 2011 was 17 thousand tonnes.

The latest trade data shows that during the period Jan-Nov 2011, the UK imported 3.3 million cases of shell eggs, a fall of 16% on the same period last year (Table 3.1). Exports of shell eggs for the same period totalled 546 thousand cases, which was a 5% increase on the same period during 2010.

UK imports of egg products for the period Jan-Nov 2011 stood at 2.6 million cases, a 6% fall on the same period last year (Table 3.2). Exports of egg products for the period Jan-Nov 2011 totalled 117 thousand cases, which represents a 1% increase on exports during the same period of 2010.

Methodology, Notes and Revisions Policy

  1. The information in this notice is used by the UK government and the EU as evidence for assessing market conditions and evaluating agricultural policy. Other users include the food and farming industry, academia and the general public. Contact details are available on the front page of this notice, for you to send feedback or ask questions about the information provided.

  2. Egg Packing Statistics: Defra runs a quarterly survey of registered UK egg packing stations. It is a voluntary sample survey of 32 respondents that collects information on throughput and prices of graded eggs and sales of ungraded eggs. The response rate is typically 100 per cent and the survey accounts for 75 per cent of eggs packed in the UK. The survey figures are raised up to give UK estimates using information on the number of commercial laying hens, average egg yields, average mortality rates, the proportion of UK eggs that go through packing stations. Throughput by egg type for packing stations not surveyed is calculated using data provided by packing stations responding to the survey. The raised figures are published in this statistics notice and the associated datasets. The figures in this notice therefore represent all Class A eggs passed over a grader in the UK, including seconds. The prices obtained on the survey are weighted according to the volume of eggs packed by each packing station to obtained average prices for the UK.

  3. Egg processing statistics: Defra runs a quarterly survey of all registered egg processors. It is a voluntary survey of 13 respondents that collects information on the number of eggs bought by egg processors and the quantity of egg products produced. The response rate is typically 100 per cent.

  4. In tables that show numbers of eggs the units used are 'thousand cases'. There are 360 eggs in one case.

  5. Trade statistics: These figures come from HM Revenue and Customs, but are validated and adjusted if necessary prior to publication. The Standard Industrial Trade Classification codes used to produce each table are given in the footnotes below the tables.

  6. The data are subject to a variety of validation checks which identify inconsistencies in the data. All data are cleaned prior to publication.

  7. The percentage changes shown are calculated using unrounded figures. Thus any percentage changes calculated using the published (rounded) figures may not equate exactly with the changes shown.

  8. The UK 12 month moving totals represent the sum of the 12 months up to and including the date indicated. They can be seen as a trend measure that is not affected by seasonality.

Revisions policy:

  1. Figures in this notice are provisional and subject to revision. We will provide information about any revisions we make to previously published information in this statistics notice, and the associated datasets. Revisions could occur for various reasons, including:
    1. if we have not received survey data from respondents we make an estimate based on their previous returns. These estimates will be replaced with actual survey data when it is received.
    2. survey respondents occasionally supply amended figures for previous periods.
    3. we may also revise the methodology used to raise the survey data to give UK totals.

  2. This quarter there are minor revisions to trade data from January 2011 due to amendments received from HM Revenue and Customs.

February 2012

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