Industry At A Glance: Middle East & Pacific Driving Growth In U.S. Hay Exports

The ever-growing export market for U.S. hay and forages largely goes unnoticed. However, over the past decade that sector’s export growth has risen by almost $800 million.

Nevil Speer

October 30, 2014

2 Min Read
Industry At A Glance: Middle East & Pacific Driving Growth In U.S. Hay Exports

This Industry At A Glance series has maintained a strong focus on the importance of international markets and their influence on the beef industry (from both an import and export perspective). Focus on trade has become an especially important topic across any number of industries because of the continued strengthening of the dollar during 2014. Last week’s discussion focused on the continued strength of exports despite a stronger dollar.

Amidst all that discussion, one business that goes somewhat unnoticed within agriculture is the ever-growing export market for hay and forages. Over the course of the past 10 years, annual hay and forage export value has increased $785 million – and was nearly equal to $1.25 billion in 2013. Those sales are roughly equally divided between alfalfa and “other” hay, respectively.

annual hay exports

Four countries comprise the overwhelming majority of hay and forage exports: China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan and South Korea. The largest components of growth during the past 10 years include sales of alfalfa hay to China and the UAE. However, sales of other types of hay to Japan have also been an important contributor to growth.

International trade (in both directions) is an important component of the U.S. agricultural industry that impacts the beef industry both directly and indirectly.

What are your perceptions of how the hay market has changed during the past 10 years? How much of that do you attribute to an international influence upon the hay market? How might this information change or alter your forage strategies going forward?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.


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About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

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