When EU-25 national estimates for 2006 are tallied, the result is a total volume of almost 1.6 million tones – 2 percent less than in 2005. The figures for the EU-15 tally to 5.5 million tones – 1.5 percent less than in 2005.
The EU’s top egg producer is still France, with 980,000 tonnes, followed by the UK with an estimated 818,000 tonnes, and then Spain with 800,000 tonnes. Italy is next with 780,000 tonnes and Germany ranks fifth with an estimated 776,000 tonnes of eggs produced in 2006.
Significant reductions in egg production compared to 2005 could be observed particularly in Belgium and Spain. Belgian egg farms are in dire need of alternative housing system upgrades. Where necessary developments are not underway, production has ceased entirely. A lower than anticipated export market for Spain led to lower production levels for 2006.
Unlike in the poultry meat sector, it is believed that the declining egg production rates cannot be attributed to the bird flu
Across the EU, a consistent decline in egg consumption can be observed. This trend is thought to be based on changes in Europeans’ consumption patterns and a dwindling image of the egg as a product.
Up until now calculations for the EU-25 showed a per capita consumption of 13.1 kg in 2005, which is 300 grams less than in 2004. For 2006 a further decline of 200 grams is expected, the equivalent of about three eggs per person per year.