Hay exports decreased 17% in Q4 of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. This represents a loss of 180,000 metric tons. Losses were driven by unfavorable exchange rates.
Alfalfa hay exports fell 12.5%, down 89,000 metric tons. While these results are unfavorable, the domestic market can absorb the shortfall without significant disruption.
Grass hay exports fell 27.3% in Q4, down 92,000 metric tons. This comes following poor export sales in Q3, down 53,000 metric tons or 18%. The grass hay market is significantly smaller than the alfalfa market. An additional 145,000 tons of unshipped grass hay is substantial and will cause a drastic correction in 2023.