The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) just released its quarterly agricultural trade forecast, and it is projecting fiscal year 2021 U.S. farm exports at $164 billion – the highest total on record. This represents an increase of $28 billion, or 21%, from last fiscal year’s total, and a $7-billion increase from USDA’s previous FY 2021 forecast published in February. The annual export record of $152.3 billion was set in FY 2014.
“U.S. agricultural trade has proven extraordinarily resilient in the face of a global pandemic and economic contraction,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As we conclude World Trade Month, it’s clear that trade remains a critical engine powering the agricultural economy and the U.S. economy as a whole. Today’s estimate shows that our agricultural trading partners are responding to a return to certainty and reliability from the United States.”
Key drivers of the surge in exports include a record outlook for China, record export volumes and values for a number of key products, sharply higher commodity prices and reduced foreign competition.
China is poised to be back on top as our number one customer, with U.S. exports forecast at $35 billion, eclipsing the previous record of $29.6 billion set in FY 2014. This growth is led by Chinese demand for soybeans and corn. Other top markets are Canada, Mexico, Japan, the European Union, and South Korea, with demand remaining strong across the board.
USDA projects that total exports of bulk commodities and meat will reach record levels for both volume and value in FY 2021.
The full USDA export forecast is available at: www.fas.usda.gov/data/quarterly-agricultural-export-forecast.