THE past five years have seen record agricultural exports, and expanding market opportunities for U.S. exports is vital to the continued success of American farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses, according to Bruce Blanton, director of the transportation services division with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Mexico is one of the largest recipients of U.S. agricultural exports, averaging 22.2 million metric tons of U.S. grains, oilseeds and related products per year from 2008 to 2012 at an average annual value of $7.3 billion. This continued trade growth has prompted interest in how these products are transported throughout Mexico, Blanton noted.
In the past, there were no readily available public data showing the entry points of U.S. agricultural exports into Mexico, modes of transportation or how products were used at their final destination, but AMS recently partnered with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Transportation Institute scientists to track those exports in Mexico.
They issued a report on their findings, titled "Tracking U.S. Grain, Oilseed & Related Product Exports in Mexico," that allows agribusinesses to see where products are going.
"Answering the question of how American agricultural products are transported to market is important," Blanton noted.
AMS has been gathering agricultural transportation data for decades and produces a wide array of publications that are available on its website, including "Study of Rural Transportation Issues," which is currently being updated. The publications include ongoing research and analysis that allow researchers, growers, distributors and exporters to determine trends, calculate projections and make informed decisions.
Many of the data, including prices, deliveries, movements, sales and freight rates, are available through market reports, such as the weekly "Grain Transportation Report."