Plenty of eggs for Easter and Passover

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WASHINGTON — Although retail egg prices are historically high at $1.98 per dozen, consumers will find an adequate supply of the protein powerhouses to fill Easter baskets and for Passover meals, according to John Anderson, deputy chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Further, “Eggs remain a relatively low-cost source of protein at a time when other meat and dairy product prices are also up,” Anderson said.

Egg demand

Recently, global demand for eggs has been very strong. In 2013, U.S. egg exports were up by 39 percent compared to the prior year.

Much of the increase was due to an increase in exports to Mexico, which in addition to having strong consumer demand, has also had its domestic egg supply reduced by an avian influenza outbreak that began in early 2012.

“U.S. poultry farmers are working to catch up with the surge in demand. U.S. table egg production has increased in each of the past three years and is expected to increase by another 1.5 percent again this year.
“Demand remains strong, but exports to Mexico will begin to taper off as that country rebuilds its domestic poultry industry,” Anderson said.

Top producers

Top egg-producing states include Iowa, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Arkansas, California, North Carolina and Alabama.

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