Quarterly outlook shows drop in ag exports

Quarterly outlook shows drop in ag exports

But grain, feed and oilseed exports are higher.

USDA’s Economic Research Service released its Quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade last week.

The report forecasts fiscal year 2016 agricultural exports at $124.5 billion, $500 million below the February projection and $15.2 billion below FY2015. Grain and feed exports are forecast at $27.7 billion, up $500 million from the February forecast. Oilseed and product exports are forecast at $26.1 billion, up $700 million.

Related: Report says TPP will have positive impact on U.S. economy

USDA’s Economic Research Service released its Quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade last week. (Photo: Ron Chapple Stock/Thinkstock)

“American farmers and ranchers continue to compete and win in foreign markets,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement. “Even in today's environment of lower commodity prices, abundant global supplies and a strong U.S. dollar, exports remain a key pillar supporting U.S. agriculture and rural communities.

“The report also underscores the importance of creating new export opportunities for our producers by knocking down tariffs and opening new markets through free trade agreements,” Vilsack said.

“Exports comprise 20% of U.S. farm income, drive rural economic activity, and support more than one million American jobs. We have the opportunity to expand those benefits even further through passage of new trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A report published by the International Trade Commission just last week shows that the TPP will significantly expand U.S. exports to some of the world's fastest-growing economies and add an additional $10 billion to annual U.S. agricultural output by 2032.”

“Trade agreements such as the TPP are key to a stable and prosperous farm economy,” Vilsack said. “They can help boost global demand for U.S. farm and food products, increase U.S. market share versus our competitors in key markets, and ensure that our farmers and ranchers have stable and predictable markets for the quality goods they produce. Congress should move quickly to approve the TPP.”

Related: Time to act or scrap the deal?

The Quarterly Outlook forecasts U.S. agricultural imports at a record $114.8 billion, down $3.7 billion from February. The U.S. agricultural trade surplus is forecast at $9.7 billion, down from FY2015.

Source: USDA, ERS

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