Alfalfa hay exports set new record

Despite logistical problems, exports of alfalfa hay set a new record high in 2021 at 2.86 million MT, surpassing previous highs of about 2.69 million MT in both 2019 and 2020. The record came even though December shipments were the lowest since July. Total year alfalfa hay exports were valued at more than $1 billion. Alfalfa hay sales to China totaled 1.56 million MT in 2021, a new record high for any single country and representing about 55% of annual sales. At 612,710 MT, Japan was the second-leading market and represented 21% of the year’s total.

December exports of other hay were again on par with the average over the second half of 2021. Total shipments in 2021 hit 1.4 million MT, the highest since 2017. Total year exports of other hay were valued at about $497 million. At 835,625 MT, sales to Japan were the highest since 2013 and represented 60% of the U.S. total for the year. Sales to South Korea, at 304,410 MT, hit a nine-year low but still represented 22% of total annual sales in 2021.

Exports of alfalfa cubes and meal (dehydrated and sun-dried) were a mixed bag in 2021. Total volume was estimated at 163,231 MT, with a value of about $46.4 million.

December hay exports to China are usually down to avoid shipments arriving during the Chinese New Year’s festivals. Strength in yearlong 2021 exports can attributed to China’s attempt to increase milk production, believing milk boosts immunity to COVID-19.

Post time: Feb-24-2022

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