U.S. Agricultural Exports to Fall, Imports to Hit Record High in FY 2015, USDA Says
The Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 28 that U.S. agricultural exports are expected to fall 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2015 to $144.5 billion while imports are projected to rise 6.8 percent to a record $117 billion. The resulting agricultural trade surplus of $27.5 billion would be 36 percent lower than in FY 2014 and the smallest since 2009.
Highlights of USDA’s FY 2015 outlook include the following.
- exports of oilseeds and products are down $5.1 billion as a result of lower soybean and meal prices but partially offset by record volumes
- grain and feed exports are down $4.9 billion, driven by sharply lower grain volume (especially to Brazil and China) and prices
- cotton exports are forecast down $600 million due to lower expected prices as global demand falls (mainly in China)
- exports of livestock, poultry and dairy products are down $500 million, although beef exports are forecast to increase $200 million to a record $6.2 billion as higher prices offset lower volumes
- horticultural exports are forecast up $2.9 billion to a record $37.0 billion, which would be the first time exports of horticultural products are greater than exports of grain and feed products
- agricultural exports to China are forecast down $3.0 billion but China is expected to remain the top U.S. market for agricultural products
- exports to Russia are projected to fall $800 million to $400 million as a result of trade restrictions against the U.S.
- imported horticulture products are projected to expand 8.4 percent to $51.4 billion
- imports of processed grain products will grow 6.2 percent to $6.9 billion as wheat and coarse grain products (such as pasta and bakery goods) meet increased demand
- total imports of oilseeds and oilseed products are projected to decline to $9.7 billion in 2015 as oilseed and oil meal shipments drop by more than $1 billion in value, offsetting a projected $1 billion rise in vegetable oil imports
- the value of imports of all sugar and tropical products will rise 12 percent to $26.2 billion and volumes will expand together with greater consumer demand