Small Surplus Seen in U.S. Ag Trade Picture for March, Keeping Balance Tipped to U.S.

In March 2005, the United States exported $5.5 billion ag products and imported $5.3 billion.

In March 2005, the United States exported $5.5 billion in agricultural products. March imports were up 19% from February to $5.3 billion, according to USDA's Economic Research Service's latest Agricultural Trade Update.

This surplus of $198 million is about one-third that recorded in February. The value of U.S. agricultural product exports for the first 6 months of fiscal year 2005 is 5% lower than for the first half of fiscal 2004.

The value of dairy products and vegetable oil exports continued to increase, while cotton and grain export values continued to decline. Although the volume of soybeans exported was higher in March than February, the value of those soybeans was down.

Agricultural product import value was up $2.6 billion (10%) in the first half of fiscal 2005 compared with fiscal 2004. So far this fiscal year oilseeds, dairy products, coffee, and rubber import values are 25-30% higher than in the first half of fiscal 2004. Growth in fruit juices, nuts, and wine import values continued unabated.

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