Colorado ag exports increase 27 percent

Aug 27, 2010
by WLJ

Colorado’s agricultural exports continue to grow; in 2010, exports increased 27 percent compared to the same time frame in 2009. This success exceeds the national ag export increase of 15 percent.

Colorado’s top agricultural exports

Colorado’s top five export sectors are all experiencing growth with meat and hide exports leading the way.

Colorado is the third largest exporting state for fresh and frozen beef, as well as fourth largest exporter of hides.

“With continued efforts to open more global markets to Colorado and U.S. beef, we look forward to further increases in our beef exports,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture, John Stulp. “We are also encouraged by the hide exports, which are often viewed as an indicator of future trends. Asia has significantly increased their hide imports, which are then processed into consumer goods and leather for car interiors.”

Colorado’s top five agricultural export markets

Canada became the largest export market for Colorado’s agricultural exports in the first six months of 2010 with a 15 percent increase in beef imports, while Mexican beef imports dropped almost 20 percent. Japan’s increased purchases were a result of increased beef imports, while Korea’s increased imports included both beef and hides. China’s increase was also a result of increased hide imports.

While beef exports to Mexico were down in the first six months of 2010, the industry anticipates new export growth to Mexico with the August 11, 2010 announcement by Mexico’s Ministry of the Economy to immediately eliminate the current antiimporting duties on U.S. beef.

Colorado’s top export markets for edible beef

Colorado’s exports of beef products grew 27.4 percent in the first half of 2010 compared to 2009, with increased imports in four of the top five export markets. Colorado is Canada’s largest supplier of fresh beef. Colorado is Mexico’s second largest supplier of fresh beef.

Colorado also saw exports in beef liver increase dramatically, growing from no exports to $4.9 million in the first six months of 2010 to Egypt.

In 2009, Colorado companies exported $1.28 billion in agricultural products to 99 countries. The Markets Division at the Colorado Department of Agriculture provides assistance to Colorado agricultural and food companies to develop market opportunities in Colorado, across the nation and around the globe. Programs include Colorado Proud, for identifying and promoting products grown, raised, or processed in Colorado and the Colorado Wine Board and International Marketing assistance programs, which help companies develop global markets.

International marketing specialists are available to assist in beginning and expanding Colorado’s export markets. Assistance includes training for export operations, assessment of market options, international finance and accessing USDA funding support for exporters. For information, log on to www.coloradoagri or call 303/ 239-4118 or 303/239- 4123. — WLJ