U.S. Farm export numbers top expectations

A new Agriculture Department forecast has the United States doing record export business this fiscal year. On Tuesday, USDA pegged farm exports at a whopping $126.5 billion, up $13.5 billion from the August forecast and more than $11.5 billion above the previous record set in 2008. Chief Economist Joe Glauber attributed the “very dramatic increase” in projected ag trade to higher grain, soybean and cotton prices. “The trends that we’ve seen throughout the year, that is the large amount of supplies going to China, continue, particularly growth in certain commodities like oilseeds,” Glauber told USDA Radio.

Asia accounts for more than half of the increased forecast, with China up more than any other market ($2.5 billion) to $17.5 billion and only half a billion less than the top market of Canada, USDA said. Compared to the prior forecast, the value of soybean shipments increased more than $5 billion, grains were up nearly $4 billion and cotton exports rose by almost $2 billion. Export prospects for livestock, poultry, and dairy were raised $1.2 billion, with gains in all but poultry, USDA added. To view the full report, click on: