• Delivering eggs of quality
  • Delivering eggs of quality
  • Delivering eggs of quality
Thursday 6th December 2012
Despite the European Commission previously advising that a statement would be issued by them by the end of November to give the detail of the latest compliance status of the ten Member States which received the letters of reasoned opinion (part of the legal procedure) on 21st June 2012, no statement has yet appeared.

The latest information however is that, Belgium, Holland, Bulgaria, France, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia have apparently stated that they are now compliant.

Greece, Spain, Italy, Malta, Hungary and Portugal are understood still to have conventional cages for laying hens. The next step in the process would be for the Commission to refer these countries to the EU Court of Justice.

The latest unofficial estimates of non-compliant production indicate that there are now 20.5 million birds still housed in illegal cages in Europe, a much lower figure than earlier in the year but still a very significant quantity. Most of this egg is understood to be going for processing and equates to around 850 tonnes of egg products every day.

 Prices of eggs for processing remain comparatively high across Europe although the shortages experienced in March and April of this year have not been repeated. Nevertheless prices are c. 50% higher than at the same time last year.

Seasonal demand for eggs and egg products is good, particularly for free-range egg.

High feed costs are adding to the pressures for egg producers but across the EU the prospects are for increasing egg availability in 2013. Nevertheless a quick return to a ‘normal’ market is not yet a foregone conclusion especially given the action still to be taken by the Commission to drive out the remaining non-compliant production although the signs are certainly more encouraging.

Ian Jones, Sales and Marketing Director