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U.S. ag exports projected to riseU.S. ag exports projected to rise

China is expected to edge out Canada in fiscal 2017 and return as the largest U.S. export market.

Jacqui Fatka

December 19, 2016

4 Min Read
U.S. ag exports projected to rise
USDA ERS

In fiscal 2017, U.S. agricultural exports projected to rise, according to the latest U.S. agricultural trade outlook released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

Fiscal year 2017 agricultural exports are projected at $134.0 billion, up $1.0 billion from the August forecast, largely due to expected increases in dairy and livestock byproduct exports. While beef and pork forecasts remain unchanged, dairy is forecast $500 million higher at $5.3 billion.

Grain and feed exports are forecast up $300 million to $29.6 billion, driven primarily by stronger wheat volumes and unit values as well as by corn volumes, helping to offset expected declines in rice exports.

Cotton exports are forecast at $4.4 billion, a $200 million increase, due to a poor harvest in Brazil and production uncertainty in India.

Overall, the oilseed and product forecast remains unchanged at $31.0 billion. Soybean export volumes continue to set records, raising the soybean forecast $500 million, which is countered by expected declines in soybean meal, soybean oil, and other oilseed products.

Imports down

U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at $112.5 billion, $600 million below fiscal 2016 due to reduced expected value of imports of horticultural, and sugar and tropical products.

Horticultural imports are expected to reach a new record of $53.3 billion in fiscal year 2017, but this also represents a downward adjustment of $600 million from the previous forecast. Processed fruit imports are expected to fall $300 million due to lower expected volumes and unit values, and fresh vegetable imports are adjusted downward $200 million due to lower expected shipments.

U.S. imports of sugar and tropical products are forecast to be worth $22.8 billion in fiscal year 2017, a $400 million downward adjustment from the previous forecast. Both coffee and sweeteners and products imports are forecast $200 million lower than in August due to reductions in expected volumes.

U.S. imports of livestock, dairy, and poultry are lowered $200 million to $15.6 billion as declines in pork and cattle more than offset increases in dairy products and miscellaneous products.

Projected imports of oilseeds and products are increased $200 million from the previous forecast to $8.3 billion. Vegetable oils are forecast to increase in fiscal year 2017 in response to small increases in unit values expected for particular commodities, and the volume of soybeans and rapeseed imported is also projected to rise this fiscal year.

China goes to top

China is expected to edge out Canada in fiscal 2017 and return as the largest U.S. export market.

The forecast for China is $21.8 billion, which is $300 million higher than the August forecast on the strength of expected increases in soybean volumes, as South American availability remains limited. Strong Chinese demand for pork variety meats is also expected to boost the total.

Higher expected dairy prices raise the forecast to Canada by $100 million to $21.3 billion for fiscal 2017. The forecast to Mexico increased $300 million to $18.3 billion on higher dairy unit values, corn volumes, soybeans, variety meats, cotton, and expected price increases for animal fats.

Exports to the EU are forecast to increase $100 million to $11.9 billion on stronger soybean sales, which more than offset declines in soybean meal.

Exports forecast to Japan and South Korea remain unchanged at $11.0 billion and $6.1 billion, respectively.

Import suppliers

Mexico is expected to remain top U.S. agricultural supplier in fiscal 2017, followed by Canada and the EU.

U.S. agricultural imports from Mexico are projected to drop to $22.0 billion, $500 million below fiscal 2016. This is largely due to a reduction in the expected supply from Mexico of horticultural and sugar and tropical products, in part due to uncertainty from increasing volatility of the peso.

The value of Canadian agricultural products sold to the United States is expected to increase slightly, due to growing values of oilseed products and steady horticultural product and grain and feed sales.

Fiscal year 2017 imports from the EU are expected to be worth $20.9 billion. These projections reflect the EU’s continued strength in supplying processed horticultural and oilseed products, such as wine, essential oils, and olive oil to the United States.

Imports from Asia are forecast down $200 million to $17.2 billion in fiscal year 2017 from the previous projection and $400 million from fiscal year 2016. China, the largest supplier in the region, is adjusted downward as U.S. imports for agricultural items that China specializes in, such as processed fruits, declines.

 

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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