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US Agricultural Trade Forecast Down but Still Record

31 May 2013

US - US agricultural exports for the current financial year are forecast to be $2.5 billion lower than the forecast issued in February.

The USDA Economic Research Service said that the agricultural exports are still expected to reach $139.5 billion which is a record figure despite the adjustment down.

The figure is $3.7 billion above 2012 export amount.

The forecast for grain and feed exports is down $2.8 billion from February, primarily reflecting lower export volumes and unit values for wheat and corn.

Sugar and tropical product exports are also forecast lower, down $500 million from the last forecast.

The forecast for oilseeds and products is raised slightly and the forecast for cotton exports is $500 million higher.

The forecast for livestock, poultry, and dairy is unchanged from last quarter, at a record $30.1 billion.

The export forecast for horticultural products is unchanged at a record $32.0 billion.

US agricultural imports are forecast at a record $111 billion, $1.5 billion lower than the February forecast, but $7.6 billion higher than in fiscal 2012.

Lower forecasts for tropical products account for most of the reduction from February.

The forecast trade balance for 2013 has been lowered by $1 billion to $28.5 billion, down $3.9 billion from the 2012 financial year.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said: “Today's report is promising news that keeps American agriculture on track to continue the strongest period of exports in our nation's history.

“Agricultural exports are an important part of our economy, supporting more than one million jobs - and as a part of President Obama's National Export Initiative to double US exports by the end of 2014, USDA has worked hard to open new markets for quality US agricultural products.

“We've helped achieve new trade agreements with countries around the world, helped organic producers export more products through new equivalency agreements, broken down hundreds of unfair barriers to trade, and utilised trade promotion programmes that have helped more than 1,000 US businesses and organisations promote agricultural products abroad.

“Today, we're looking ahead to the next big achievements - particularly a Trans-Pacific Partnership with Asian nations, and a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.

“We must continue working to strengthen markets and opportunity in American agriculture.

“That's one reason why it is important that Congress achieve passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible. Trade promotion efforts provided by the current Farm Bill have been extremely valuable for US producers.

“A long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would continue these programs, enabling USDA to keep working with producers and businesses to promote their quality products around the world.

“This is an important step to further increase agricultural exports from the United States and create more good jobs here at home. As we continue our efforts to strengthen agricultural trade, USDA will keep working hard to help Congress pass a multiyear, comprehensive bill as soon as possible."

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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