THE rehabilitation of the egg market suffered a double setback last month.
Hopes rest on a sustained reduction of the national flock in the months ahead. But both worsening problems in the old hen trade and the evidence that chick placings edged up again in May, could delay this process.
Projections for the first-year flock indicate that the reductions should probably go a step further. The May placings were up by around 1% and break an encouraging pattern of falling placings since the start of the year.
The latest move to put a floor in the market is the export programme to shift 10,000 cases a week to Bulgaria for three months to the end of August.
It is being run by CEA International backed by the big packers.
This has given wholesale prices a lift since the start of June, but the cost of it has driven producer prices lower still.
Poultry Worlds calculation of average margins to packing station suppliers stands at just the same point as a year ago.
This means that the year-on-year fall in feed costs has been precisely matched by the drop in producer prices over the same period.