Canadian hemp grain producers continued to dominate the U.S. market for hempseed-based products in 2023, shipping material valued at roughly $55 million over the northern border, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Canadian producers shipped in $46.8 million worth of food seed, $5.0 million in oilcake and $3.6 million in hempseed oil, with most of the supplies coming from the province of Manitoba ($43 million), according to a final USDA report from last year.

For context, U.S. hemp grain production in 2022 was estimated at just $3.63 million, according to a separate USDA report that tracks domestic production.

Total U.S. food seed imports reached $49.5 million last year. Far behind Canada among the top five importers were: Lithuania, $1.8 million; China, $615,000; Peru, $64,000; and Netherlands, $52,000.

Other products

The Netherlands led all exporters of hemp sowing seed to the U.S., shipping $2.6 million of the total $4 million recorded last year. Other top cultivation seed exporters to the U.S. were Spain with $566,000, and France with $483,750.

Imports of hemp textile materials in two categories totaled roughly $2.1 million. Yarn imports were valued at $1.3 million with roughly $900,000 coming from Romania and $359,000 from China. Fabric imports were $829,000, with roughly half of that ($409,000) coming from China. Other countries sending hemp fabrics to the U.S. last year were: India, $154,000; Belgium, $120,000; and Italy, $113,000.

Twine imports totaled $2.7 million, with more than 99% of that coming from the Philippines.

Excludes flowers, hurd

Last year was the first year for the import reports, which are produced weekly. Compiled by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the reports mark the first government data analysis dedicated solely to imported hemp commodities, but do not include hemp flowers, hurd or technical fibers. In addition to import data, the reports track retail advertised prices for seed-based products such as whole and hulled seeds, protein powder and hemp seed oil, nationally and by region.

Hemp import volumes to the U.S. are minuscule, but still may hint at how industry business relationships are shaping up around the world. Other countries which show up on the report with small quantities of different hemp products sold into the USA include Australia, Egypt, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Iceland, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

The weekly reports complement an annual National Hemp Report started by USDA two years ago that queries more than 20,000 hemp producers across the nation to determine planted acreage, harvest figures, and crop values. That report put the total value of domestically produced hemp at $238 million in 2022, with income from flowers $205 million; fiber, $28.3 million; and grain $3.6 million.

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