Plagued by longshoremen work slowdowns on the West Coast and China’s rejection of some alfalfa deliveries due to a dispute over genetically modified crops, U.S. alfalfa hay exports ended the year somewhat weaker.
Alfalfa hay exports totaled 129,517 metric tons in December, according to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service. Along with November, it represented the lowest two-month total dating back to June-July 2011. For the year, alfalfa hay exports totaled 1.69 million metric tons, also the lowest level since 2011.
Exports of alfalfa hay in 2014 were valued at $537.4 million, down from $586.4 million the year before.
China was the top foreign alfalfa hay market for the year, importing 661,750 metric tons. China was followed by Japan (424,287 metric tons), and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (305,300 metric tons).
Meanwhile, December 2014 U.S. exports of other hay, at 120,543 metric tons, represented the fourth-lowest monthly total for the year. As a result, annual exports of other hay totaled 1.54 million metric tons, slightly below the level exported in 2008.
Exports of other hay in 2014 were valued at $518.4 million, down from $639.2 million the year before and the lowest value since 2010.
Japan was the leading market for the year (834,488 metric tons), followed by South Korea (359,397 metric tons) and UAE (China (137,704 metric tons).