USDA trims forecast for agricultural exports

By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, MAY 30, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture trimmed its forecast for agricultural exports in 2013, from $142 billion to $139.5 billion, but the number still represents a nominal record that's $3.7 billion above last year.

 

“Corn exports are down considerably,” says USDA's Chief Economist Joe Glauber. “Back in February, we were looking at corn exports around almost $8 billion, that's down to about $6 billion. A lot of that's volume. Wheat is also down about two million tons. “

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Sugar and tropical product exports are also forecast lower, down $500 million from the last forecast.

The forecast for oilseeds and products is raised slightly and the forecast for cotton exports is $500 million higher. The forecast for livestock, poultry, and dairy is unchanged from last quarter, at a record $30.1 billion. The export forecast for horticultural products is unchanged at a record $32.0 billion, according to the new report from the agency's Economic Research Service.

U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at a record $111 billion, $1.5 billion lower than the February forecast, but $7.6 billion higher than in fiscal 2012. Lower forecasts for tropical products account for most of the reduction from February.

The forecast trade balance for fiscal 2013 is lowered $1 billion to $28.5 billion, down $3.9 billion from fiscal 2012.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement regarding the report.

“Today's report is promising news that keeps American agriculture on track to continue the strongest period of exports in our nation's history. Agricultural exports are an important part of our economy, supporting more than one million jobs - and as a part of President Obama's National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, USDA has worked hard to open new markets for quality U.S. agricultural products.”

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