Summary - U.S. exports of eggs and egg products increased substantially in the first half of 1996, raising the export estimate for 1996 to the highest since 1982. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, European egg exports have tumbled due to decreasing EU export restitutions.
According to U.S. trade statistics, U.S. exports of eggs and egg products increased by more than 30 percent during the first half of 1996, compared to the same period in 1995. The trend is expected to continue throughout 1996, raising total exports for the year to a record 258 million dozen, the highest total since 1982. Exports were up in all categories in the first and second quarters of 1996 compared to the same period in 1995, including table eggs, hatching eggs, and egg products.
Particularly notable was the increase in egg product exports, which more than doubled in value to more than $32 million in the first 7 months of 1996, compared to the same period in 1995. The majority of the increase was accounted for by increased exports to Japan, which rose from $10 million to more than $17 million. According to attache reports, U.S. exports of dry albumen, frozen and dry egg yolks, which comprise the bulk of U.S. egg product exports to Japan, can be expected to continue to increase.
Exports of egg products to Mexico also increased significantly, to more than $8 million in January-July, up from $1.8 million during the same period in 1995. Egg product exports to the EU were also up significantly: exports to Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. more than doubled.
U.S. exports of table eggs to Hong Kong, the destination of more than 60 percent of all U.S. table egg exports, expanded sharply in the first half of 1996 to 26 million dozen, 23 percent greater than in the same period in 1995. According to U.S. trade statistics, shipments of U.S. table eggs to Hong Kong continued to rise sharply in July, by an additional 4.8 million dozen, pushing the total for the year (January-July) to 31 million dozen. At this rate, shell egg exports to Hong Kong, adjusted for seasonal trends, are expected to reach a record 55 million dozen for 1996.
Graph: U.S. Egg Exports to Hong Kong
Exports of shell eggs from the European Union to Hong Kong and other destinations fell sharply in the first 6 months of 1996 from the same period in 1995, according to FAS attache estimates. EU egg exports to Hong Kong in the first half of 1996 were only slightly less than in 1995, but exports for the second half of 1996 are expected to fall steeply. Preliminary estimates indicate that EU exports of eggs and egg products to all destinations will fall by more than 25 percent in 1996, to approximately 110,000 tons.
At least part of the decrease can be explained by the decrease in EU export restitutions, which have fallen sharply. Between July and November 1995, export restitutions to the EU's primary export destinations fell from 24 ECU's per 100 kilos to 9 ECU's per kilo (from roughly 12 to 4 U.S. cents per dozen). These destinations include Hong Kong, Russia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Middle and Near Eastern countries. Currently, EU export restitutions for table eggs to these destinations are stable at 8 ECU's per 100 kilos (between 3 and 4 U.S. cents per dozen). Restitutions to Far Eastern destinations, however, including Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan, rose from zero to 15 ECU per 100 kilos in 1996 (approximately 7 cents per dozen).
The decrease in restitutions was motivated in part by the outcome of the Uruguay Round agreement, which required the EU to reduce the maximum allowable quantity of subsidized exports to 83,300 tons by the year 2000, a significant reduction from the amount of subsidized exports during the 1991-92 base period.
The strength of the Dutch guilder, the primary exchange currency for EU egg exports, also contributed to the decline. EU prices, as measured by the FOB prices in the Netherlands, were significantly higher in the first 6 months of 1996 than in 1995.
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Last modified:Friday, 22-Nov-1996