Market News & Headlines >> USDA Sees Value of Ag Exports Rising

The value of U.S. agricultural exports is projected to rise to a record high $177.5 billion in 2022, up $4 billion from a revised forecast for this year, USDA said last Thursday in its quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report.

The forecast increase in export value for fiscal 2022, which starts Oct. 1., is primarily driven by higher export values for soybeans, cotton, and horticultural products, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) said. Soybean exports are projected to rise by $3.3 billion fiscal 2021 to a record $32.3 billion on higher prices, more than offsetting lower projected export volumes. Cotton exports are forecast to rise by $500 million to $6.8 billion on higher unit values. Horticultural product exports are forecast to rise $600 million to a record $37.7 billion, led by higher exports of tree nuts.

Livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are forecast to rise by $400 million to $36.8 billion in fiscal 2022, primarily due to growth in dairy and poultry products, but the value of grain and feed exports  is expected to fall  by $1.1 billion from prior forecast levels, primarily due to lower corn export prospects, ERS said.

 Agricultural exports to China are forecast at $39.0 billion—an increase of $2.0 billion from fiscal 2021—largely due to higher expected soybean prices and strong cotton and sorghum demand. Agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico are forecast at $23.8 billion and $22.3 billion, respectively

The fiscal 2021 export forecast of $173.5 billion represents an increase of $9.5 billion from May’s projection, mainly due to higher livestock, poultry, and dairy exports, as well as the adoption of a new definition of “Agricultural Products.”

Starting in August 2021, the Outlook for Agricultural trade report has adopted the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) definition of “Agricultural Products,” which adds ethanol, distilled spirits, and manufactured tobacco products, among others, while removing rubber and allied products from the previous USDA definition. The net effect of the change on historical values is that U.S. agricultural exports under the new definition averaged $4.7 billion higher per year during the fiscal 2018–2020 period than they did under the previous definition.