September 13, 2023


China poultry egg market in 2022: As feed costs rose to historic high, egg production increased by 1.4%

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China's poultry egg production increased by 1.4% year-on-year in 2022, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.


The egg output of Henan, Shandong and Hebei last year was 4.562 million tonnes, 4.381 million tonnes and 3.984 million tonnes, respectively. These provinces, as China's largest egg producers, account for 13.20%, 12.68% and 11.53%, respectively, of the national egg production. Together with Liaoning, Jiangsu and Hubei, they accounted for about 59.32% of China's egg production.


Of the total egg output of 34.56 million tonnes, chicken egg production was 28.4 million tonnes, making up over 82%.


In 2022, there were 946 million laying hens in China, a 5.1% drop compared with 997 million birds in 2021. Compared with the six-year average of 1.022 billion, the country's layer inventory was 76 million or 7.4% lower.


During March-April in the same year, egg prices surged 25.46%. They then soared to their highest annual levels last October.


Meanwhile, affected by the rising prices of corn and soybean meal, the cost of feed surged to a historical high in 2022. Layer farms were, therefore, reluctant to negotiate egg prices, thus forming strong support for the egg market. High feed costs also dampened interest in building up inventories.


The total sales volume of layer chicks last year remained below the normal level for most parts of 2022. However, due to high egg prices, the profitability of layer farming stayed lucrative.


China's layer population stayed flat throughout the year, with the average stock in 2022 inching lower by 0.51% year-on-year and falling 5.26% compared with the past five years' average.


Still, with high egg prices more than covering high feed costs, layer farms were enjoying a good profit of ¥1.02/kg in 2022 (which converted to an annual profit is  ¥21.9/hen).


Compared with 2022, the egg market has shown improvement this year, with egg demand recovering to normal levels. However, the profit margins of layer farming should fall considerably from last year's level.


Eggs are essential food products within China's food security plan. While the number of layer farms and egg producers in the country has decreased, the Chinese egg market has become increasingly concentrated and several well-known egg producers are coming into the spotlight.

- David Lin, eFeedLink

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