As in 2005, the value of U.S. agricultural exports grew from April to May - this year by 10%. Fiscal-year-to-date exports are $46.6 billion - about $3.5 billion higher than the same period in fiscal 2005, according to USDA Economic Research Service's latest trade update.
Year-to-date export values of cotton, red meat, corn, and fruits and nuts are all substantially higher than last year. Corn shipments to South Korea have grown monthly since January 2006, while soybean shipments to the European Union-25 have fallen just as sharply during the same time. Cotton shipments to China have declined somewhat in the past few months, but China continues to account for half of U.S. cotton shipments.
After falling by 9% from March to April, the value of U.S. agricultural imports rose by 3% from April to May. Imports are $43.2 billion so far in fiscal 2006, up $4.6 billion from this time during fiscal 2005. Sugar is the fastest growing import - its value has more than doubled compared with the first 8 months of fiscal 2005.
Imports of vegetable oils (mostly palm and coconut oils from Asia and olive oil from the EU-25) are considerably higher so far this fiscal year compared with fiscal 2005. Fruit, vegetable, and beverage imports continued growing steadily.