March boost to egg market

By Poultry World staff

THE egg trade sprang back to life in March against a background of steadily falling production.

At one point in the middle of the month the Central Egg Agency had “nothing on the board at all” and its prices moved up to the highest levels for Large and Medium since March 1997.

Meanwhile the BEIC is reporting “the first sustained rise in retail egg sales for decades” in response to the second phase of the Lion egg advertising campaign at the start of the year.

Provisional figures from the AGB Superpanel showed an increase of nearly three per cent in total retail sales of eggs for the first two months of 2000, says BEIC, with Lion eggs through the multiples rising “even faster”.

Our objective when we launched the Lion Quality programmer in 1998 was two-fold, said BEIC chairman Andrew Parker: “To ensure we were providing the best quality, and to develop a successful marketing campaign to increase egg sales.

Despite the pressures faced by the industry, we have not compromised on either, and subscribers are now seeing the rewards of the substantial investment they made.

Mr Parker will be paying little attention to the latest results from the National Food Survey, which recorded an annual fall in retail sales in the last quarter of 1999 of 3%.

The last time the results were published, Mr Parker dismissed them as “seriously adrift”.

The size of the laying flock was still heading down in February when chick placings fell again, by 12%.

It results in a projected size for the first-year laying flock of around 28 million birds by July.

Producer prices are only shown for the first week of March.

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