According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, alfalfa hay exports from the West Coast to China in August totaled a record high 124,179 metric tons (MT). This is up 1 percent from July and 53 percent higher than August 2015. Alfalfa hay exports to China in the June through August 2016 period at 348,355 MT compare to 246,938 in the same three-month period last year. It appears that the larger short-term supplies of alfalfa hay on hand in China was a big reason for Chinese buyers offering lower prices on West Coast alfalfa hay in September.
Alfalfa hay exports from the West Coast to Saudi Arabia also set a new record in August at 30,294 MT. This compares to 17,309 MT in July and 9,991 MT in August of last year. One hay exporter stated that the two growth markets for U.S alfalfa hay in the coming years will be China and Saudi Arabia.