By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 – Data released Friday showing U.S. farm exports hit a record $115.8 billion for 2010 brought this comment from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack:

“U.S. farmers and ranchers had a record-breaking export year, surpassing the previous high of $114.8 billion, set in calendar year 2008, by nearly $1 billion. We saw a rise in both the value and volume of U.S. agricultural exports worldwide.

“Today’s numbers indicate that the demand for U.S. food and agricultural products is soaring worldwide. This is good news for all Americans in these trying economic times. Every $1 billion in agricultural exports supports 8,000 American jobs, which means agricultural exports supported nearly 1 million jobs in 2010.

“American farmers and ranchers – and the businesses that support them – continue to apply the latest technology and an unparalleled work ethic to achieve thriving productivity, helping us reach President Obama’s goal of doubling all U.S. exports by 2014.

“Export sales surged both in bulk commodities, which increased 19 percent to $47.2 billion, and consumer-oriented agricultural products, which increased 15 percent to $45.4 billion.”

“For the first time, China emerged as the top market for U.S. agricultural exports, with $17.5 billion in sales. Canada was second with $16.9 billion.

“U.S. soybeans were the largest agricultural export product, reaching a record $18.6 billion in sales, surpassing the previous record of $16.4 billion in 2009. China purchased 58 percent of U.S. soybean exports last year. This is a significant increase from 2000 when China was 19 percent of the total U.S. soybean export market.”

For the latest export data via the Global Agricultural Trade System, click here.

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