Vilsack cheers agricultural export forecast

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2012 - USDA's Economic Research Service released its second Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade in fiscal year 2013 Thursday, forecasting $145 billion in agriculture exports.

This forecast is up $1.5 billion from the August forecast and $9.2 billion above fiscal 2012 exports, according to the Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade.

Grain and feed exports are forecast down $1.9 billion mostly due to lower corn exports, while oilseed exports are up $3.3 billion.

Cotton exports are forecast down $200 million in part due to reduced Chinese demand, while horticultural exports are unchanged at a record $32 billion.

The forecast for livestock, poultry and dairy is down $100 million on lower poultry, beef, and cattle exports.

U.S. imports are projected at a record $115 billion in fiscal 2013, up 11 percent from 2012's imports of $103.4 billion, but down $2 billion from the August forecast for 2013. The reduced forecast for 2013 is largely due to significantly lower prices for tropical oils, processed fruits and vegetables, sugar, coffee, rubber, and cocoa, the ERS report stated. 

This makes the forecast trade balance for fiscal 2013 shows a surplus of $30 billion, down $2.4 billion from 2012.

In reaction to the report, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said “because USDA is working harder than ever to remove unfair barriers to trade and provide businesses with the resources they need to reach new markets, American agriculture is booming.”

He said U.S. agricultural exports have climbed more than 50 percent in value, from $96.3 billion in 2009 to today's forecast.

“Demand for products like American soybeans, wheat and tree nuts is surging across the world, with notable gains in China, Europe, and Southeast Asia expected to support strong cash receipts through year,” Vilsack added. 

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