More expensive feed has hit second-quarter earnings at Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg producer in the US.

The company recorded net income of US$15.2m for the three months to 27 November, down 5.6% on the year.

However, Cal-Maine saw its net sales rise 2.3% to $234.5m and president and CEO Dolph Baker said the company’s results reflected “recent improved market conditions”.

Baker said: “We reported improved sales from a year ago due to higher average selling prices; however, our profitability was affected by higher feed costs.”

Over the first six months of Cal-Maine’s fiscal year, net income was up 61.8% at $19.9m. Net sales inched up 1.9% to $424.9m.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Baker said feed costs remained a “concern”. He added: “For the second quarter, feed cost per dozen produced increased by four cents compared with the same quarter last year. The current and expected balance of supply and demand for corn and soybean meal points to a tight feed supply throughout the next marketing year.”