USDA doubles egg purchases

September 10, 2020

With about a month to go in the fiscal year, the USDA has already purchased more than twice as many combined pounds of eggs and egg products as in all of fiscal year 2019, and spent two-thirds more dollars in making the purchases, according to data from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

AMS has purchased 46.6 million pounds of egg products and 27 million pounds of shell eggs in FY 2020 for a total of 73.6 million pounds, up from 27.1 million and 8.5 million, respectively, in FY 2019, for a combined 2019 total of 35.6 million pounds. In turn, 2019 purchases exceeded those in 2018, when AMS bought 17.9 million pounds of egg products and 3.9 million pounds of eggs.

This year, the largest purchase category for AMS  has been frozen whole egg in two-pound packages. This pattern reflects the large share of purchases this year that are destined for poverty relief through The Emergency Food Assistance Program and other anti-hunger programs. In previous years, liquid whole egg in tankers typically accounted for the largest portion of AMS spending.

Traditionally, AMS buys more egg products than shell eggs because of the nature of the nutrition programs that are being supplied. However, for 2020 shell eggs had a substantially greater rate of growth than egg products. As noted, combined purchases more than doubled in volume, but within that total, the volume of shell eggs more than tripled. Click here for an AMS presentation with purchase details.