Top Crop Manager

News
Record $108.5 billion US agricultural exports forecast for 2008

US producers are expected to export a record 63 million tons of corn, and set new volume and value records for pork exports. Asia is an important growth market for US agricultural products.


June 5, 2008
By USDA

May 30,
2008

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today announced an
updated quarterly forecast for
U.S.
agricultural exports – expected to reach a record $108.5 billion for fiscal
year 2008. Today's upward revision is a $7.5 billion increase from February's
previous record forecast and $26.5 billion above the final 2007 exports. Grains
and animal products account for two-thirds of the export gains.

"America's increased
export volume in bulk commodities like corn, other animal feeds and soybeans
make agriculture the bright spot in the overall balance of trade," said
Schafer. "
U.S.
producers are on track to export a record 63 million tons of corn, and set new
export volume and value records for pork. Export volumes and values are also up
for many horticultural products with sales growth to
Canada and the
European Union being exceptionally strong."

Asia continues to be an important growth
market for
U.S.
agricultural commodities.
U.S. exports
to
China are
forecast to reach a record $10.5 billion, up almost $3.4 billion from 2007
levels.
Canada and Mexico remain
the
United States' top
two markets worldwide with exports forecast to reach $30.5 billion in 2008 –
some $5 billion above 2007.

"Trade
agreements have a significant impact on our ability to sell
America's
agricultural products in world markets," said Schafer. "
Canada and Mexico, our
two North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, currently buy 28 percent
of the value of
America's
agricultural exports – up from 20 percent purchased 15 years ago when trade
began under NAFTA. Unfortunately, Congress has not been acting in the best
interest of the American farmer and rancher by stalling approval of the signed
trade agreement with
Colombia, yet
along with approving trade with
Korea and Panama,
Congress could provide three extremely important markets for expanding the
trend of increased American export sales for years to come."

While agricultural
imports in two-way trade with the
United
States
will
also increase – to a record $78.5 billion forecast by USDA – the $108.5 billion
in export sales by American farmers and ranchers will net a positive
agricultural trade surplus of $30 billion for the
United
States
.

USDA's Economic
Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Service and World Agricultural Outlook
Board release agricultural trade forecasts quarterly. The summary and full
report of USDA's "Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade" may be
accessed from the
ERS web
site at www.ers.usda.gov or the FAS web site at www.fas.usda.gov
. The next quarterly report will be issued at the end of August 2008.