A “disappointing” shell egg market and “challenging” conditions has led Cal-Maine Foods to report a loss for the first quarter of its financial year, with sales falling by more than 60%.

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 were US$239.8m, a 60.7% decrease compared to $609.9m for the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Chairman, president and CEO Dolph Baker said revenue was dented by “significantly lower market price” with average selling prices down 58% year-on-year. “Our results for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 reflect a disappointing shell egg market with more challenging market conditions and significantly lower market prices than the first quarter of fiscal 2016,” he explained. 

Cal-Maine reported an operating loss of $49.8m in the three months to 27 August, down from a profit of $220.7m last year. Baker said the company faced increased challenges in the period. “Our operations ran well during the summer months; however, we experienced higher farm production costs primarily due to ongoing capital improvement and conversion projects. Our feed costs per dozen produced were marginally higher compared with a year ago, with adequate supplies of grain from last fall,” Baker said. 

The company made a net loss of $30.9m, compared to net income of $143m for the first quarter of fiscal 2016. 

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