Colorado Agricultural Export Growth Continues

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Colorado’s agricultural exports increased 20 percent to $718 million in the first seven months of 2011 over last year’s exports, lead by increases in beef, hides, dairy and grains. “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.” 

Colorado’s top three agricultural commodities lead growth:  

Colorado Product Exports            Increase               Total Export Value

Edible Beef                                         21%                        $389.9 million
Hides                                                   20%                        $131 million
Dairy                                                   51%                        $28 million 

 Colorado exports of edible beef grew over all with mixed results for top markets in the first seven months of 2011: 

·         Canada’s Colorado beef imports increased 42 percent to $135.2 million
·         Mexico held steady at $76.4 million
·         Japan’s Colorado beef imports were up 21 percent to $71.6 million
·         Korea was up 31 percent to $46.3 million
·         Russian imports of Colorado beef remained 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 US trade negotiations to remove the restrictions on beef to Japan and negotiating an opening of China to Colorado and US beef.” Other interesting market trends for Colorado’s agricultural exports include: 

·         Millet exports increased 77 percent to $9.7 million in the first 7 months of 2011. 
·         Live cattle (breed stock) increased 122 percent in the same timeframe.
·         Direct corn exports have grown in recent years. 

Mexico is now purchasing Colorado corn, increasing their purchases 258 percent. This represents over $11.6 million in exports of Colorado corn to Mexico.  Additional statistics are available by contacting Tim Larsen, CDA international marketing specialist at (303) 239-4118 or email 

In 2010, Colorado companies exported agricultural products to 105 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.

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 financing and accessing USDA funding support.  

For more information visit


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