Free-range egg producer margins are on the wane as packers continue to trim prices in response to the overall egg surplus.


The British Free Range Egg Producers’ Association estimates that the average margin per bird has now fallen to just 40p/bird over the life of a laying flock, compared with £1.14 earlier in the year.

The organisation has had to re-work its official costings in the light of the changed market situation, basing its projections on a new average free-range egg value of 84.9p/doz. This price is derived from a survey of both producers and packers.

The costings attempt to provide a typical operating budget for a 12,000 bird unit, based on 290 eggs from birds eating 130g of feed a day and 7% mortality.

They include the additional revenue friom selling old hens, and take into account all costs, such as replacements, feed, electricity, depreciation and finance.

The new figures suggest this type of unit is now making revenue of £247,607 and paying total costs of £242,807, leaving a margin per flock of just £4800 – equivalent to 40p/bird.

These figures could deteriorate further in the months to come, with some packers announcing a further round of price cuts and wheat prices having climbed by £30/t to £140/t ex-farm in the past month.

Flock Size

12,000

Physical performance:

 

Eggs per bird housed to 72 weeks

290

Feed consumption gm/bird/day

130

Mortality %

7

INCOME

per unit

per flock

 

 

 

Egg sales

84.9p/doz

£246,268

Old hen value

12p

£1339

TOTAL INCOME

 

£247,607

 

 

 

COSTS

per unit

per flock

 

 

 

16 wk replacement pullets

£3.45

£41,400

Feed at £’s per tonne

£200

£120,120

Labour

 

£29,369

Fixed costs

 

£25,148

Depreciation

 

£26,769

TOTAL COSTS

 

£242,807

MARGIN PER FLOCK

 

£4800

MARGIN PER BIRD

£0.40