Tuesday, June 4, 2013

ACX Remains Leading US Hay Exporter

ACX Pacific Northwest was the leading US exporter of alfalfa and grass hay in 2012, the third straight year it was tops in the category. ACX also moved up a notch in the animal feed category to become the country’s second largest, behind grain shipper DeLong, according to new data.

ACX exported 52,400 TEUs in 2012, representing almost 700,000 tons of long fiber forage, according to the Journal of Commerce. The JOC lists ACX as the 23rd largest exporter in the US overall. Most of ACX’s hay exports are to Asia and Middle East markets.

“When ACX started 35 years ago, we shipped our hay products primarily to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan for dairy and beef cow markets,” Chief Marketing Officer Mike Gombos stated. “Today we are also shipping to China and the Middle East, not just for dairy and beef, but to feed goats, camels and sheep.”

Exports of US hay continue to grow each year. According to the Department of Commerce, 2008 hay exports totaled about 2.5 million tons; but by the end of 2012, global demand for US hay increased to over 3.7 million tons, and 2013 is on track to reach or exceed those levels.

ACX was the first hay exporter to open a major hay processing facility just outside the Port of Los Angeles and also opened a new facility in the Port of Stockton and began exporting large volumes of hay through the Port of Oakland.

“We located our facility at the Port of Stockton in anticipation of their new barge service to the Port of Oakland on the Marine 580,” Gombos said. The Marine 580 project allows exports of heavy containers by using a barge service operated by the Port of Stockton to transport containers to Oakland.