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Alfalfa exports maintain strength - April 2016 hay export update

Progressive Forage Editor Dave Natzke Published on 14 June 2016

U.S. alfalfa hay exports were down in April, but still tipped the scales at more than 190,000 metric tons for a second consecutive month, according to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service.

April 2016 alfalfa hay exports were estimated at 192,143 metric tons, down from the March total of 199,809 metric tons (Table 1), but up slightly from April 2015.

 natzke tbl1

China, which is building its domestic dairy herd, was the only country to increase alfalfa and other hay shipments from the U.S. compared to March, noted Christy Mastin, international sales manager with Eckenberg Farms Inc., Mattawa, Washington. However, shipments to China were less than April 2015.

Chinese alfalfa hay shipments totaled 82,283 metric tons in April (Table 2), as shipments to major Southeast Asia markets were down compared to a year ago. Year-over-year increased shipments to the Middle East, led by United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, somewhat offset those declines. The increased sales were driven by lower prices, Mastin said.

April exports of other hay declined to the lowest level since July 2015.

natzke tbl2

Lower prices cut overall value of alfalfa hay exports to $58.2 million in April, down about $8 million compared to the same month a year earlier. The value of other hay exports was also down.

Alfalfa meal shipments were mostly higher from the previous month, but alfalfa cube shipments were down.  end mark

Dave Natzke
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