Iowa, California Continue Reign as Top Exporting States

U.S. agricultural exports reached a new record in fiscal 2005 at $62.4 billion, but only $1 million higher than the record set in fiscal 2004.

U.S. agricultural exports reached a new record in fiscal 2005 at $62.4 billion, but only $1 million higher than the record set in fiscal 2004, according to USDA's latest Ag Trade Update on state exports.

While California and Iowa continued their reign as top exporting states, Texas regained its third place position ahead of Illinois. Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, North Dakota and Indiana round out the top 10. Iowa moved ahead of Illinois in soybean exports; California continued to dominate vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, seeds, and dairy.

Soybeans and products remained the largest valued U.S. agricultural export at nearly $9 billion - down roughly 2% from 2004. Shipments of soybean meal grew by 40% from 2004-05 while soy oil shipments grew by 21%.

Feed grains and products remained the second largest valued agricultural export despite a sharp decline from 2004-05. Nearly all this decline is related to corn as export values dropped from nearly $6 billion in 2004 to $4.7 billion in 2005. This is nearly 16% below the 2004 level but more in line with previous values.

Wheat export values are down 11% over last year at $5.9 billion. This drop is largely due to large U.S. and global supplies which lowered prices and created stiff competition. Despite the $765-million drop from 2004 levels, wheat remains the third largest U.S. agricultural export group in fiscal 2005.

High hog prices, resulting from strong export demand as pork substitutes for beef, and strong export demand for lamb and other animal products, have raised export values for live animals and meat by more than $500 million. Poultry exports have risen almost 20% from 2004 to 2005. Dairy exports rose 30% over 2004 levels as they did from 2003-04.

Cotton exports are down nearly 15% from 2004 levels. In spite of strong global demand, weak prices drove export values down $660 million. Exports to China account for roughly one-third of the volume of U.S. cotton exports.

California far exceeds other states in exports

California remained the top exporting State in fiscal 2005, far surpassing all others; its $10.2 billion of agricultural exports is up 7%, or $680 million, from 2004.

California accounts for 16% of the total value of all U.S. agricultural exports. The State leads the country in exports of vegetables and preparations, fruits and preparations, tree nuts, dairy products, planting seeds, and "other products."

California's exports of each of these commodities are 2-3 times higher than the next closest State. U.S. almond growers have found larger markets in Europe as Spain's drought continues to depress its crop production. Nearly half of California's "other product" exports comes from wine, with the rest primarily from essential oils and nursery and greenhouse products.

Iowa remains the second ranked U.S. exporting State with total agricultural exports valued at $4 billion - less than half the total agricultural export value for California. The $100-million increase is largely due to higher values for soybeans and live animal and meat exports. Iowa led the Nation's exports of feed grains and products, and live animals and meats. Continued strength in the pork sector allowed the State to remain well ahead of Nebraska in meat exports. Iowa continues to dominate U.S. exports of corn.

Texas was a close third, with 2005 agricultural exports valued at $3.5 billion. This is down $213 million, or 6%, from 2004 levels. These declines are largely due to declining export values for cotton and meat. Restrictions on beef and cattle exports, due to fears about BSE, are partly responsible for the more than $50-million decline in live animal and meat exports. Nevertheless, the State continued to dominate U.S. exports of cotton and cottonseed with values more than double those of the next largest cotton exporting State.

Illinois exports were roughly $250 million below Texas, as their 2005 value fell $442 million, mostly from lower feedgrain and soybean exports. Illinois is the second ranked exporting State for soybeans and feedgrains, behind Iowa by roughly $250 million in each. Illinois accounted for 14% of the value of U.S. soybean and feedgrain exports in 2005.

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