Ag exports reach 3rd highest level on record

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FY 2017 exports were up $10.9 billion from the previous year.
WASHINGTON – Due in large part to increased shipments of red meat, US agricultural exports for fiscal year 2017 finished at the third-highest level on record, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Nov. 16. Exports totaled $140.5 billion, up $10.9 billion from the previous year. In addition, the US agricultural sector posted an annual trade surplus of $21.3 billion, up almost 30 percent from $16.6 billion in 2016.

US beef, pork and dairy exports all grew in FY2017. Dairy exports were up 17 percent to $5.3 billion, beef exports grew 16 percent to $7.1 billion and pork exports rose 14 percent to $6.4 billion. Processed food and beverage exports also rose 2 percent to $39.2 billion.

“US agriculture depends on trade. It is great to see an increase in exports and we hope to open additional markets to build on this success,” Perdue said.  “I’m a grow-it-and-sell-it kind of guy. If American agricultural producers keep growing it, USDA will keep helping to sell it around the world.”

With shipments valued at $22 billion, China finished the year as the country’s largest export customer. Canada followed closely behind with $20.4 billion in export shipments. Mexico showed a 6 percent gain from FY2016 as its agricultural exports reached $18.6 billion and Japanese exports grew 12 percent to $11.8 billion. The remaining countries in the Top 10 markets were the European Union ($11.6 billion), South Korea ($6.9 billion), Hong Kong ($4 billion), Taiwan ($3.4 billion), Indonesia ($3 billion) and the Philippines ($2.6 billion).

US bulk commodity exports set a volume record at 159 million metric tons, up 11 percent from FY 2016, while their value rose 16 percent to $51.4 billion. Soybean exports led the way with exports of a record 60 million metric tons, valued at $24 billion. Exports of cotton, wheat and corn all grew as well, climbing 70 percent to $5.9 billion, 21 percent to $6.2 billion and 6 percent to $9.7 billion, respectively.

Complete FY 2017 (Oct. 2016-Sept. 2017) agricultural export data are available from the Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS) database:

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