According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2020 was a banner year for agricultural exports. The 2020 U.S. Agricultural Export Yearbook shows moderate gains in overall ag export value. Increasing seven percent from the year prior, ag exports were valued at $146 billion dollars; the second highest level on record after 2014. Increased shipments of corn, soybeans, and pork to China helped bring overall levels up.
The top 15 export product groups account for nearly 72 percent of total U.S. ag exports for 2020. Tree nuts remained the number three export commodity despite a decline of seven percent, mainly caused by lower sales in Hong Kong and the EU. The pandemic had a notable effect on cotton sales last year, with cotton exports dropping three percent to $6 billion dollars. Exports of dairy products increased nine percent, largely due to better performance of skim milk powder in Southeast Asia. Fresh fruit exports were down one percent for 2020 and fresh vegetable exports were also down four percent from the year prior.
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