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Beef Leads Growth in Colorado Agricultural Exports

Beef Leads Growth in Colorado Agricultural Exports


LAKEWOOD, Colo. –Compared to 2010, Colorado’s exports of agricultural products increased 23 percent in the first nine months of 2011 to $967 million, led by increases in beef, hides, dairy, grains and processed foods.

“This is great news for Colorado producers,” said Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar.  “Governor Hickenlooper has been a big supporter of these efforts and we look forward to developing additional markets in the future.”

Colorado’s top agricultural commodities lead growth:

Colorado Product

Exports Increase

Total Export Value

Edible Beef


$524.3 million



$172 million



$41.1 million



$26.0 million


Colorado exported beef to 34 countries, including markets in North America, Asia, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and Australia.  Colorado’s top five markets all increased exports in the first three quarters of 2011.

1.      Canada, up 34.3 percent (to $175.4 million)

o   Colorado is ranked #1 nationally in beef exports to Canada, supplying 25.5 percent of all US beef

2.      Mexico up 1 percent to $104.7 million

o   Colorado is ranked #3 nationally in beef exports to Mexico, supplying 15.1 percent of all US beef

3.      Japan up 18.4 percent to $93.4 million

o   Colorado is ranked #3 nationally in beef exports to Japan, supplying 18.4 percent of all US beef

4.      Korea up 27.4 percent to $57.5 million

o   Colorado is ranked #4 nationally in  beef exports to Korea, supplying 10.9 percent of all US beef

5.      Russia up 40.7 percent  to $31.1 million

o   Colorado is ranked #2 nationally in beef exports to Russia, supplying 16.4 percent of all US beef

Other beef export trends:

o   European Union beef exports grew from $300,000 to $5.6 million (increase of 1,750 percent)

o   Asian market up 22.2 percent to $181.0 million

“The new US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, coupled with the news that Japan may soon lift certain beef restrictions, indicates that the Asian market will continue to be an increasingly important market for Colorado beef,” said Salazar.

Other interesting market trends for Colorado’s agricultural exports include:

  • Dairy exports to Mexico (89 percent of Colorado’s dairy exports) up 73 percent to $36.5 million, and year to date dairy shipments went to 26 countries, up from 8 in 2010.
  • Direct cereal exports increased 94.5 percent with direct corn exports up 259 percent to Mexico for $12.1 million.
  • Colorado millet exports increased 80 percent, with the Asian market up 12.8 percent to $4.3 million and the European market up 235.6 percent to $3 million.
  • Colorado wood product exports increased 18 percent to $11.4 million, with key markets in China, Canada, Mexico and Germany.

Additional statistics are available by contacting Tim Larsen, CDA international marketing specialist at (303) 239-4118 or emailTim.Larsen@ag.state.co.us.

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 www.coloradoagriculture.com.




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