2010 ag export forecast second-highest in history

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — Fiscal 2010 agricultural exports are now forecast at $104.5 billion, up $4.5 billion from the February forecast and $7.9 billion above final FY 2009 exports, according to the most recent Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade for fiscal year 2010.

Dairy, livestock and poultry exports are forecast up only slightly as gains in broiler meat and hides and skins outweigh smaller exports of beef and pork variety meats. Asia is forecast to surpass the Western Hemisphere as the largest regional market for U.S. exports.

Fiscal 2010 agricultural imports are forecast at $76.5 billion, down $1 billion from the previous forecast due mostly to declining values of imported vegetable oils. Although forecast values of vegetable oils, bulk grains, dairy products, and beef are lowered, projections for horticultural crops and tropical products are up from both the recent forecasts and 2009 values.

Fiscal 2010 grain and feed exports are forecast at $26 billion, up $1.1 billion from the February forecast. This is largely due to upward revisions in wheat, rice, and feed/fodder volume.

The fiscal 2011 export forecast for livestock, poultry and dairy products is raised by almost $200 million to $20.3 billion. The forecast for broiler meat is revised upward by nearly $300 million to $3 billion, as prices have been resilient despite the implementation of sanitary requirements by Russia and market access issues in several other countries.

Pork exports are reduced by more than $100 million to $4.1 billion on lower quantities as tight domestic supplies limit U.S. shipments. For the same reason, beef and pork variety meats are dropped to just over $1 billion. Beef exports are unchanged at $3 billion.

“Today's strong economic report is good news for communities throughout the U.S., not only because of the increasing opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers to sell their products overseas, but also because of the importance of agricultural exports to the American economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the most recent U.S. Agricultural Trade Outlook Forecast for fiscal year 2010.

“With each $1 billion in exports supporting 8,000 to 9,000 jobs at home, efforts to increase trade are an important part of the administration's effort to strengthen our economy here at home,” Mr. Vilsack added.

"The U.S.D.A. has been working aggressively to improve opportunities for U.S. agricultural exports — including new offices abroad and a more constructive, effective dialogue on trade issues with growing market economies — helping to increase the trade surplus in agriculture, now forecast to reach $28 billion,” he continued.

This study comes on the heels of an historic six-month pace by U.S. agricultural exports, which shattered records with $59 billion in sales in the first half of the fiscal year and generated a 14% increase over the same period last year.

Highlight’s in today’s report includes:

 U.S. farmers, ranchers and producers are poised to achieve $104.5 billion in sales — an $8 billion increase over last year and the second highest level in history.

 The trade surplus in agriculture is now forecast to reach $28 billion, the second highest ever achieved.

 The report comes on the heels of an historic six-month pace by U.S. agricultural exports, which shattered records with $59 billion in sales in the first half of the fiscal year and generated a 14% increase over the same period last year.

 U.S. agricultural exports to China grew by nearly $3 billion during the first half of the fiscal year to $10.6 billion, making China the United States' top market for this period. In total, exports to Asia have reached record highs, led by strong increases in China and Southeast Asia. Other outstanding country and regional customers include the European Union, Turkey, and North Africa.

The report can be seen at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/.
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