As it has every year since 1976, the value of U.S. agricultural exports fell from March to April - this year by 16%, according to USDA's latest trade estimates. Fiscal-year-to-date exports are running at nearly $41 billion - about $3 billion higher than the same period in fiscal 2005.
Year-to-date export values of red meat, rice, corn and fruits and nuts are all 18% higher than last year. Corn shipments are markedly higher to South Korea (up 50% in volume) while soybean shipments to the EU-25 are down 63% in volume from the first 7 months of fiscal 2005. Cotton shipments were down to all U.S. major markets except China and Colombia.
After rising nearly 20% from February to March, the value of U.S. agricultural imports fell by 9% from March to April. Imports are running at $37.6 billion so far in fiscal 2006, compared with $33.5 billion at this time during fiscal 2005.
Sugar is the fastest growing import - its value has more than doubled compared with the first 7 months of fiscal 2005. Imports of vegetable oils and live animals are higher so far this fiscal year compared with fiscal 2005, despite declines from March to April. Fruit, vegetable, and beverage imports continued growing steadily.