In the first two months of 2018, there has been a shift of a larger percentage of alfalfa hay exported to China from the ports of Seattle/Tacoma than alfalfa hay exported to China from the Long Beach/Los Angeles (LB/LA) ports.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, alfalfa exported from LB/LA ports the first two months of 2018 totaled 79,172 metric tons (MT) compared to 103,442 MT the first two months of 2017, a 23 percent decline. Conversely, alfalfa hay exports from Seattle/Tacoma ports in January and February 2018, at 59,249 MT, were up 2 percent from the same period last year. This is significant because there had been a dramatic rise in alfalfa hay exports from LB/LA ports for several years due to lower ocean freight on containers destined for China.
Because of more competitive alfalfa hay prices in the Pacific Northwest compared to the Southern Desert of California, things are changing.