WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 — U.S. farm exports will reach a record $149.5 billion in the year ending Sept. 30, up $6.9 billion from a February forecast, helped by the highest ever soybean purchases by China and surging sales of beef and dairy, according to USDA.
The department’s Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report, released today, shows that the growth is due not just to rising prices, which have driven export numbers in the past, but also to an increase in the volume of U.S. agricultural exports, which is projected to jump by 31 percent between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014.
Exports are projected to rise just over 6 percent from last year’s overseas sales of $140.9 billion, which USDA says supported almost 1 million jobs in the U.S. The department said fiscal years 2009 through 2013 were the strongest five years in history for agricultural trade, with sales totaling $619 billion for that period.
Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack pointed to programs in the 2014 Farm Bill that he said will continue to support trade promotion and market expansion.
“Collectively, these efforts will ensure that America's farmers and ranchers are well positioned to capitalize on emerging export markets and continue to drive economic growth in rural America," Vilsack said in a news release.
Some highlights from the report:
-The forecast for grain and feed exports was raised $4.5 billion to $35.8 billion due to higher wheat prices and greater volume for corn and feed and fodders.
-Corn exports were projected at $10.7 billion, up $2.1 billion from the previous forecast, partly due to diminished competition, especially from Argentina.
-The soybean export forecast was raised $1.8 billion to $23.5 billion based on record sales to China.
-The forecast for livestock, poultry and dairy exports was raised by $600 million to a record $32.2 billion with increases in dairy and beef offsetting declines in pork and poultry.
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