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Export forecast for 2020 revised upward

U.S. agricultural trade surplus expected to increase by $2.8 billion in 2020 to $8.0 billion.

U.S. agricultural exports are projected to reach $137.0 billion in fiscal 2020, up $2.5 billion from the revised forecast for fiscal 2019, according to a newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture trade outlook. The anticipated increase will be primarily driven by increased exports of pork, beef, soybeans and horticultural products, USDA said. Overall, the U.S. agricultural trade surplus is expected to increase by $2.8 billion in 2020 to $8.0 billion.

Livestock, poultry and dairy exports in 2020 are projected to be up $1.5 billion to $31.4 billion, based largely on stronger pork, beef and broiler volumes and higher prices.

USDA increased the pork export forecast by $800 million from 2019 to $6.3 billion for 2020. The increase, the agency said, is the result of higher volumes and unit values, partially resulting from the repeal of Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs and an increase in global pork demand due to the African swine fever epidemic.

Higher volumes and unit values led USDA to forecast 2020 beef and veal exports at $7.8 billion, a $300 million increase from 2019.

USDA forecasts soybean exports to rise $400 million in 2020 to $16.8 billion on increased volumes but left grain and feed exports unchanged from 2019, at $30.1 billion. Corn exports specifically were increased $200 million to $9.4 billion based on larger volumes but lower unit values. Easing supply concerns have improved the prospects for U.S. exporters, USDA added.

Export markets affected by ongoing trade negotiations are expected to rise, USDA reported. Exports to Canada are projected to be $21.5 billion, up $400 million from 2019, while exports to Mexico will be $19.8 billion, up $500 million. Agricultural exports to China are also projected to rise to $7.5 billion, an increase of $200 million from 2019, based on expectations for more pork sales.

For 2019, USDA expects agricultural exports to be $134.5 billion, a $2.5 billion decrease from the projection the agency made in May. The decline is mainly due to reductions in exports of corn, soybeans and other oilseeds, USDA said.

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