The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will sponsor seven agribusiness trade missions in 2020 to grow and diversify export opportunities around the world for America’s farmers and ranchers, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney recently announced.
“I cannot overstate the immense value trade missions provide to the U.S. agriculture industry and to our customers,” McKinney said. “Trade missions help agribusinesses – both large and small – get their foot in the door to new markets, build strong relationships with existing and potential customers, and expand their global footprint and sales of U.S. farm and food products.”
He continued, “I’ve had the pleasure of leading numerous trade missions at USDA and the results overwhelmingly speak for themselves. In 2019 alone, six USDA trade missions enabled more than 170 U.S. companies and organizations to engage in 3,200 one-on-one meetings with foreign buyers, generating more than $78 million in projected 12-month sales.”
Six USDA missions during 2018 enabled more than 200 U.S. companies and organizations to engage in 3,000 one-on-one meetings with foreign buyers, generating more than $140 million in projected 12-month sales.
Each year, the marketing and trade experts from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) analyze and select a combination of new and growing markets that offer the best prospects for U.S. agricultural farm and food exports. For 2020, FAS has planned a record seven missions, four of which are first-time destinations for USDA trade missions.
While final dates are subject to confirmation, scheduled 2020 trade missions include:
- North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), March 16-19
- Philippines, April 20-23
- Spain and Portugal, June 8-11
- United Kingdom, September 14-17
- Australia and New Zealand, October 19-23
- Peru, November 2-5
- United Arab Emirates, November 15-18
Export forecast raised
The USDA recently released its latest “Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade,” forecasting U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal 2020 to $139.0 billion, up $2.0 billion from the August forecast. USDA forecasts fiscal 2020 grain and feed exports at $29.5 billion, down $600 million from the August forecast due mainly to declines in corn and wheat. On the animal protein side, USDA forecasts livestock, poultry and dairy exports up $500 million from August to $31.9 billion as stronger demand for pork, dairy and hides and skins will more than offset declines for beef and poultry products.