Egg production requires feed inputs from cultivated crops as part of the wider agribusiness commodities market, and its output is the eggs from laying hens, also known as layers, as well as those layers that are slaughtered. US egg production and domestic consumption are both at all-time highs. While eggs on their own are extremely popular to eat, they are also an input in a host of other foods and sauces such as mayonnaise. Eggs are a staple food around the world, and generally one of the most inexpensive protein sources.
Key facts about the global eggs market
- US domestic egg production was nearly 98.6 billion eggs in 2019. US domestic egg consumption has increased 16% over the past 20 years, up to 289 eggs per capita.
- The largest egg producing company in the world is Cal-Maine at around 40 million layers. Proteina Animal (PROAN) from Mexico is second at 33 million hens. In the US Cal-Maine (which encompasses Hillendale Farms) is followed by Rose Acre Farms.
- While most eggs are consumed with the domestic market they are produced in, the Netherlands, US, Poland, and Turkey are the world’s largest exporters. Mexico has been building up its egg industry and is expected to compete with the US in the Western Hemisphere.
- In the US, the region that has gained the most in egg production has been the Midwest, especially the states of Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio as producers move their operations closer to where feed grains are grown.
- The main price driver in the egg industry is feed costs – primarily corn. While egg prices are extremely volatile, seasonality is of great importance, with prices rising around international holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.