AT the end of May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) revised its fiscal 2014 forecast for agricultural exports by $6.9 billion from its February estimate to a record $149.5 billion.
The forecast for grain and feed exports was boosted $4.5 billion to $35.8 billion due to higher prices for wheat and greater volumes and prices for corn, feeds and fodders.
The corn export forecast was raised $2.1 billion to $10.7 billion on strong foreign demand and diminished competition, especially from Argentina, ERS said.
Exports of oilseeds and oilseed products are projected to be a record $33.8 billion, up $2.4 billion, driven by larger volumes and higher prices for soybean and soybean meal exports. The soybean export forecast was raised $1.8 billion to $23.5 billion based on record sales to China.
The ERS export forecast for livestock, poultry and dairy products was raised $600 million to a record $32.2 billion, with increases in dairy and beef more than offsetting declines in pork and poultry.
The export forecast for horticultural products was lowered $400 million to $34.1 billion, but the forecast still would be a record high.
U.S. agricultural imports for fiscal 2014 are forecasted to be a record $110.5 billion, up $500 million from February's estimate. Imports are expected to be 6.4% greater than in fiscal 2013.
The forecast for the U.S. agricultural trade surplus in fiscal 2014 was raised $6.3 billion from February to $39.0 billion, its second highest ever, according to ERS.