U.S.D.A. projects record ag exports for fiscal 2008

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer today said U.S. agricultural exports are expected to reach a record $108.5 billion during fiscal 2008, up $7.5 billion from the U.S.D.A.’s forecast in February and $26.5 billion more than final 2007 exports. Grain and animal products are expected to account for two-thirds of the export gains, the U.S.D.A. noted.

"America’s increased export volume in bulk commodities like corn, other animal feeds and soybeans make agriculture the bright spot in the overall balance of trade," Mr. Schafer said. "U.S. producers are on track to export a record 63 million tons of corn, and set new export volume and value records for pork. Export volumes and values are also up for many horticultural products with sales growth to Canada and the European Union being exceptionally strong."

While Canada and Mexico remain the top two destinations for U.S. exports with sales nearing $30.5 billion, the U.S.D.A. said China continues to grow as an export market. The U.S.D.A. said export sales to China may reach a record $10.5 billion in 2008, up approximately $3.4 billion from fiscal 2007.

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