AgTC claims loss of agriculture exports amounts to $1.75 billion per month.
The Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) said Monday disruption at West Coast container ports is reducing U.S. agriculture exports and the amount of lost business is accelerating as congestion continues.
AgTC said that U.S. agriculture exports through U.S. container ports were $1.75 billion in November 2014 compared with $3.48 billion in November 2013.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service total U.S. agriculture exports between October and December 2014 were $43.3 billion compared with $45.3 billion in the same 2013 period.
“The ports are functioning far below normal pace, crippling the most important U.S. maritime export – agriculture and forest products. The loss of exports by dollar are in the billions, and the job losses and the loss to the family farms and businesses are unconscionable,” the group said in a press release. “Containerized agriculture exports from West Coast ports are now running at less than 50 percent of the normal volumes.
“Our foreign customers are now unable to get the US food and farm
products they need, so they are turning to other countries for hay,
pork, beef, citrus, Christmas trees, apples, cotton, rice, almonds. As
we unfortunately learned when the West Coast ports shut down in 2002,
those customers, once gone, do not necessarily come back.,” the group said.
AgTC said in its statement:
- The American Meat Institute and the National Pork Producers Council report losses of $40 million in exports each a week. Shipping delays have made it impossible to ship chilled beef or pork to Asia. We are losing these markets to foreign competitors.
- The US Hides, Skin and Leather Assoc. reports losses of $45 million in hide exports each week.
- US Forage Export Council reports losses of hay and forage exports of $266,000 each day.
- Cherry growers in Oregon lost over $250,000 of export sales directly related to port disruption in January. “If not resolved, it will lead to a sales loss of $5 million in 2015.”