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Ag Exports Forecast to Increase $6 Billion in 2017
USAgNet - 08/26/2016

Fiscal 2017 agricultural exports are projected at $133.0 billion, up $6.0 billion from the revised fiscal 2016 forecast of $127.0 billion, largely due to higher exports of oilseeds and products, horticultural products, cotton, and livestock, dairy, and poultry.

According to the latest USDA Ag Exports Forecast, oilseeds and product exports are up $2.7 billion to $31.0 billion, driven by record soybean export volume and higher unit values. Horticultural product exports are forecast to increase $1.4 billion, led by tree nut exports. Cotton exports are projected to rise $900 million due to sharply higher U.S. production and tighter foreign stocks. Exports of livestock, dairy, and poultry products are up $800 million, primarily due to higher poultry and dairy exports.

Grain and feed exports are forecast unchanged at $29.3 billion, as higher wheat and corn exports offset reductions in sorghum. Agricultural exports to China are forecast $3.5 billion higher than fiscal 2016, primarily due to increased soybean, tree nuts, and pork exports. China is expected to edge out Canada and return as the largest U.S. market after spending 2016 in second place.

"These numbers once again demonstrate the resiliency and reliability of U.S. farmers and ranchers in the face of continued challenges," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The projected $133 billion in total exports for FY 2017 is up $6 billion from last forecast and would be the sixth-highest total on record. The United States' agricultural trade surplus is also projected to rise to $19.5 billion, up 40 percent from $13.9 billion in FY 2016. The United States has continued to post an agricultural trade surplus since recordkeeping began in the 1960s."

Meanwhile, U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at $113.5 billion, $400 million higher than fiscal 2016. Increases in import values are expected for horticultural and tropical products, which more than offset reductions in livestock, dairy, and poultry products. The U.S. agricultural trade surplus is expected to increase by $5.6 billion in fiscal 2017 to $19.5 billion.

For fiscal 2016, the revised export forecast of $127.0 billion represents an increase of $2.5 billion from May. Imports are forecast $1.7 billion lower at $113.1 billion.

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