Egg Industry Center

New PCT study shows increased costs

June 29, 2023

The Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University has released the latest U.S. egg industry post-production cost study.

The study helps egg farmers compare industry costs with their own operational costs of processing (washing and weighing), putting eggs in cartons, and transporting eggs to market. Therefore, the processing, cartoning and transporting report is referred to as the PCT Study.

“Using 2022 data provide by egg farmers we found that eggs processed on the farm where they are produced had a PCT cost averaging about 56 cents per dozen,” said Maro Ibarburu, associate scientist and business analyst for the Egg Industry Center (EIC).

When comparing the report to the previous year’s study, the changes in costs are best explained by a 75% increase in estimated grade yield loss. While regular grade yield losses are incurred for eggs not fit for the shell egg market, like an egg with a shell microfracture or a meat spot, this grade yield loss increase was mostly due to differences in the value of large eggs vs. smaller-sized eggs. “This increase in estimated grade yield loss was the result of exceptionally large price differences between the price of large eggs and the smaller sizes,” said Ibarburu. “For example, in 2022 the discount for medium-sized eggs was 57 cents per dozen when in 2021 that discount was 28 cents.”

As in year’s past, eggs trucked from a farm to a processing facility still experienced data collection issues. “This year there were three different clusters of costs for these types of eggs, so our trust in the small number of answers received is a bit lower than we would like,” said Ibarburu. “But even with this challenge, the rest of the study provides some great information for the industry, and EIC is happy to continue to provide the industry this relevant and scientifically-based information.”

The Egg Industry Center was established at Iowa State University in 2008. Its mission is to add value to the egg industry by facilitating research and learning for egg producers, processors and consumers through national and international collaboration. To find more information on the center, visit

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