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Agricultural Exports to Fall in FY 2014 but Imports Will Rise, USDA Projects

Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 29 its estimates for agricultural exports and imports in fiscal year 2014, which begins Oct. 1, 2013. With an expected drop in exports and increase in imports, USDA believes the U.S. agricultural trade surplus will fall by $13 billion to $22 billion, which would be the smallest surplus since 2007.

USDA forecasts agricultural exports at $135 billion, down $5 billion from the FY 2013 estimate. Oilseeds and products are expected to decline the most, down $5.4 billion due to lower soybean and meal prices in response to an improved domestic supply. Grain and feed exports are expected to fall $1.7 billion due to lower exports of wheat (due to abundant exportable supplies in competitor countries), rice (due to smaller supplies, an expected reduction in sales to South America and the Middle East, and more competition from lower-priced exporters), and feeds and fodder (because the value of distiller’s dried grains is expected to drop sharply with corn prices). Cotton exports are forecast down $700 million due to lower domestic production and reduced demand from China. Little change is expected in exports of livestock, poultry and dairy products, while horticultural exports are forecast to increase $2.5 billion to a record $34.5 billion. If agricultural exports to China decline by $2 billion as projected, Canada would regain its position as the top export market for U.S. agricultural products.

U.S. agricultural imports are projected to hit a record $113 billion, $8 billion higher than FY 2013. Increases in import value are expected for most products, with the largest gains in horticultural products and sugar and tropical products.

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