LAKEWOOD – Colorado’s agricultural exports increased 20 percent to $718 million in the first seven months of 2011 over last year’s exports, according to figures released Wednesday by the state department of agriculture.
The state saw increases in its top ag exports — edible beef, hides and dairy — as well as grains to international markets.
“Agricultural exports continue to play an important part in our state’s economic recovery,” said Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar. “So far this year, we have seen an additional $118 million from the ag export sector and that is directly attributed to our producers and benefits the entire state.”
Edible beef exports grew overall by 21 percent to a total value of $389.9 million; overall hides exports grew 20 percent to $131 million; and dairy more than doubled to $28 million in the first seven months of 2011.
Colorado exports of edible beef grew or held steady in the five top markets over that period:
· Exports to Canada increased 42 percent to $135.2 million;
· Korea was up 31 percent to $46.3 million
· Japan was up 21 percent to $71.6 million;
· Mexico held steady at $76.4 million, as did Russia
at $19.5 million.
“We have seen phenomenal growth in Asia; beef markets grew to 36 percent of Colorado’s export market for an increase of 112 percent over the past two years,” said Salazar. “Asia’s growing portion of Colorado’s total beef exports illustrates the importance of U.S. trade negotiations to remove the restrictions on beef to Japan and negotiating an opening of China to Colorado and U.S. beef.”
The report also showed that exports of live cattle (breed stock) from Colorado increased 122 percent for the first seven months of the year.
Grain exports also increased over that same timeframe, especially for millet and corn. Millet exports increased 77 percent to $9.7 million, and Mexico increased its direct purchases of Colorado corn 258 percent, to over $11.6 million.
In 2010, Colorado companies exported agricultural products to 105 countries around the globe.
The full report can be found at www.coloradoagriculture.com .