Ag Secretary Vilsack Releases Quarterly Trade Forecast

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s quarterly trade forecast released yesterday shows that U.S. agricultural exports not only continue at a record-setting pace for fiscal year 2021, but that they will eclipse the 2021 total in fiscal year 2022. The August forecast is USDA’s first look at expected exports for FY 2022.

“As we work to build back better, exports remain a vital engine spurring growth in the U.S. economy. America’s farmers, ranchers and processors are the world’s best and global demand for their products is a testament to their quality, safety and commitment to sustainability and has led to a projected new record in U.S. agricultural exports,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The FY 2021 forecast of $173.5 billion is $33.8 billion, or 24 percent, higher than the FY 2020 final total and nearly $17 billion above the previous record set in FY 2014. Factors underpinning the increase include record volume and value of corn exports, record volume of soybean exports, strong demand from China, and reduced foreign competition.

Looking ahead to FY 2022, U.S. farm and food exports are projected at a record $177.5 billion, topping 2021’s forecasted level by $4 billion. This increase is primarily driven by expected record exports of soybeans, horticultural products, dairy products and sorghum. Exports to China are forecast at a record $39 billion due to higher soybean prices and strong demand for sorghum and cotton. China is expected to remain the United States’ largest export market, followed by Canada and Mexico.

“Simply put, agricultural trade is all about opportunities – for our agricultural producers, our rural communities and the American economy as a whole, as well as for the global customers who value quality, cost-competitive U.S. farm and food products,” Vilsack said. “Each $1 billion in U.S. agricultural exports stimulates another $1.14 billion in domestic economic activity and supports more than 7,700 full-time civilian jobs throughout the U.S. economy. That means that more than 1.3 million jobs, not just on the farm but in related industries such as food processing and transportation.”

NOTE: Beginning with this forecast, USDA is adopting the World Trade Organization’s definition of “Agricultural Products,” which adds ethanol, distilled spirits and manufactured tobacco products, among others, while removing rubber and allied products from the previous USDA definition. All numbers above have been adjusted to reflect the new definition.

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