Alfalfa hay exports from the West Coast to the six major overseas markets from January through May totaled 1,191,200 metric tons (MT), up 31 percent from the 906,712 MT in the same period last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau trade data. China outpaced all countries with 543,428 MT, up 48 percent from the first five months of last year. Japan was the second leading country with 251,437 MT, up 28 percent (Japanese port data shows 169,346 MT of alfalfa hay in the January through May period, up 10 percent from last year).
Alfalfa hay exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at 148,726 MT was the third leading destination, up 1 percent from 2016. Saudi Arabia was the fourth leading country for West Coast alfalfa hay exports at 132,899 MT, up 53 percent from the 86,655 MT during the first five months of 2016. Alfalfa hay exports to South Korea at 91,988 MT was up 14 percent from the 80,656 MT a year ago. And the sixth leading export destination for alfalfa hay was Taiwan at 22,722 MT, down from the 27,495 MT in 2016, and the only country in the top six destinations to have lower exports.