U.S. Farm Exports Face Headwinds

As most every farmer knows, trade remains vital to US agriculture. Undersecretary of Agriculture Robert Bonnie, telling an audience the other day that his use of that word “vital” is probably an understatement because

About 20% of all US agricultural production is exported to world markets.

And that’s one reason the US Department of Agriculture puts out so many reports lots of reports on us ag exports sales and US imports as well. The USDA has just put out its monthly ag trade update report in it. We have the complete ag trade numbers for the first 11 months of 2023. And they are pretty much as expected. USDA economist Bart Kenner gave us the numbers

Calendar year to date agricultural exports for January through November 2023 are $159.4 billion, down 11% from the previous year, and agricultural imports were $179.3 billion, down 2% from last year.

This makes for a US ag trade deficit of almost $20 billion. Kenner says bulk products are seeing the biggest declines in export sales revenues.

Wheat exports for calendar year to date January through November 2023, $5.6 billion down 28% from the previous year. corn exports were $12 billion, down 31% from the previous year. Soybean exports $25.4 billion down 14%

And the US has exported $5.5 billion worth of cotton. That’s 36% less than for the 2022 year, Undersecretary Robert Bonnie says, yes…

While agricultural trade is hit a few headwinds, we still expect a very strong year.

USDA is forecasting that the US will in the 2024 fiscal year export about $169.5 billion worth of product, down from 2023 by $9 billion, down by $23.5 billion from 2022’s record exports of $193 billion. Nonetheless, the work to build exports continues.

USDA will continue to work with governments and business representatives at home and abroad to create new markets and create new opportunities for American producers.