U.S.D.A. raises fiscal 2010 ag export forecast

by Jay Sjerven
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The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for the value of U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2010 to $98 billion, up $1 billion from the initial projection made in August and compared with exports of $96.6 billion in fiscal 2009. If the revised forecast stands, the value of U.S. exports in the current fiscal year would be the second-highest on record after $115.3 billion in exports during fiscal 2008. “A recovering global economy is expected to boost demand for U.S. high-value products,” the U.S.D.A. said. Export forecasts were raised for grains and feeds (up $600 million from the August forecast); livestock, poultry and dairy (up $200 million); oilseeds and products (up $300 million); and cotton (up $200 million). These increases offset a lower forecast for horticulture products, down $500 million from August, to $21.5 billion.

The U.S.D.A. projected the value of U.S. agricultural imports in fiscal 2010 at $77.5 billion, down $4.5 billion from the initial projection of $82 billion made in August but up $4.1 billion from $73.4 billion during fiscal 2009. Import forecasts for fiscal 2010 were lowered for livestock, dairy and poultry (down $700 million from the August forecast); grains and feed (down $600 million); oilseeds and products (down $600 million); horticulture products (down $1.1 billion); and sugar and tropical products (down $1.5 billion).

The U.S. agricultural trade surplus in fiscal 2010 was forecast at $20.5 billion, up $5.5 billion from the August forecast but down from $23.2 billion in fiscal 2009 and a record $36 billion in fiscal 2008.

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