Friday, 16 August 2013

Colorado agriculture exports grow 2% in first-half 2013

The value of Colorado's agricultural exports grew by 2 percent in the first half of 2013 from the same period of 2012, despite a slump in sales to Mexico and Russia, the Colorado Department of Agriculture reported Friday.

Ag exports reached a value of $725.6 million in the first six months of 2013, up $14.5 percent from a year earlier. The total is up 20 percent from two years earlier, the department said.

Exports to Russia declined by $27 million between early 2012 and early 2013, and Mexico exports fell by $26 million, the report indicated. It cited Russia’s decision to close its markets to U.S. red meat imports and Mexico’s weak economy.

But Colorado state saw growth in shipments to seven of its 10 largest agriculture-export markets, including a $23.1 million gain in exports to Canada and an $18.2 million rise in Hong Kong ag shipments.

Overall, Colorado ag exports went to 102 countries in the year’s first half, with new markets for state farm and ranch goods opening in Tunisia, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Anguilla and Aruba.

“Colorado’s broad market reach is critical for our industry,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar. “By increasing our global markets, Colorado can continue to increase sales well into the future.”

Other key takeaways from the Agriculture Department report:

• Brazil has become one of Colorado’s top 10 ag export markets, with sales growing from $328,000 a year ago to $9 million. “Brazil is importing wheat directly from Colorado for the first time with purchases of $8.5 million,” the report said.

• Red-meat sales account for all the growth of ag exports to Hong Kong.
Original Article Here

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