U.S.E.M. makes fourth export of eggs since October

by Ron Sterk
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KANSAS CITY — U.S. Egg Marketers (U.S.E.M.) earlier this week concluded the fourth major export sale of shell eggs since last October, said Gene Gregory, president and chief executive officer of U.S.E.M. and United Egg Producers.

"Just this week we agreed to a sale of 200 container loads (approximately 160,000 cases of 30 dozen eggs) for deliveries to Europe, Israel, Japan and Dubai," Mr. Gregory said. The sale was made to a single buyer in Germany. Delivery will be completed over the next four weeks, he said.

There are no additional sales scheduled at this time, Mr. Gregory said. Each inquiry has come unexpectedly and is negotiated on its own merit.

After more than three years of not being able to negotiate an export deal for shell eggs, U.S.E.M. received several inquiries over the past several months, Mr. Gregory said. The first sale in October was for 90 containers delivered in November. Another sale of 300 containers in late December was for delivery in January and a third sale in early February also for 300 containers was for delivery in February, he said.

The four sales totaled 890 containers, equal to about 712,000 cases of 30 dozen eggs each, or 21.36 million dozen eggs.

U.S. production of shell eggs was about 6.5 billion dozen in 2006 and about 6.4 billion dozen in 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its 2006 Chickens and Eggs annual summary. Total shell egg exports were about 109 million dozen in 2006 and 106 million in 2005, the U.S.D.A. said.

Typically less than 2% of total domestic shell egg production is exported annually, Mr. Gregory said.

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