USDA Has Big Expectations for Agricultural Exports

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Trade

The recent trade forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates high expectations for agricultural exports. Fiscal Year 2021 is projected to see an export value of $173.5 billion, an increase of 24 percent over 2020. If the forecast comes to fruition, it will surpass the previous record set in 2014 by nearly $17 billion. Driving factors for the substantial export increase are record shipments of corn and soybeans. A lack of foreign competition along with continued strong demand from China are also helping U.S. agricultural export numbers remain strong.

Agricultural Exports

“As we work to build back better, exports remain a vital engine spurring growth in the U.S. economy,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “America’s farmers, ranchers and processors are the world’s best and global demand for their products is a testament to their quality, safety and commitment to sustainability and has led to a projected new record in U.S. agricultural exports.”

The latest trade projection is an increase of $9.5 billion from numbers that were released back in May. An updated definition of “agricultural products,” along with increased exports of livestock, poultry, and dairy products are also contributing factors to the overall growth. Secretary Vilsack noted that $1.14 billion in domestic economic activity is generated for every $1 billion in American agricultural exports.


USDA’s August forecast also included projections for the Fiscal Year 2022. Next year’s agricultural exports are expected to hit another record at $177.5 billion, a $4 billion increase over 2021 projections. Strong demand for soybeans is expected to remain consistent. Expectations also call for record exports of sorghum, dairy products, and horticultural products. Exports to China, the largest market for U.S. products, are forecast for $39 billion in 2022. Agricultural exports to the next largest markets for U.S. products, Canada and Mexico, are also projected to increase by $200 million and $300 million respectively.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West