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The U.S. Department of Agriculture on May 27 forecast the value of U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2010 at $104.5 billion, up $4.5 billion from its February projection and up $7.9 billion, or 8%, from $96.6 billion in fiscal 2009. If the forecast is realized, the value of U.S. agricultural exports this year would be the second highest on record after $115.3 billion in fiscal 2008. The increase in the export forecast primarily reflected stronger-than-expected oilseed and grain shipments. “The soybean export forecast contributed the most to the improved overall trade forecast, with exports spurred by record U.S. soybean production and record early-season sales to China,” the U.S.D.A. said. The value of U.S. soybean exports in fiscal 2010 was projected at a record $16 billion compared with $15.4 billion as the February forecast. While the projected value of corn exports in the current year remained steady at $9 billion, the forecast value of wheat exports was raised $0.3 billion, to $5.3 billion, the projected value of rice exports was raised $0.2 billion, to $2.1 billion, and the projected value of feeds and fodders exports were raised $0.5 billion, to $5.3 billion. The projected value of U.S. horticultural exports in fiscal 2010 was raised $1 billion from February, to $22.5 billion, while the projected value of livestock, poultry and dairy products was raised $0.2 billion, to $20.3 billion.

The value of U.S. agricultural imports was lowered $1 billion from the February forecast to $76.5 billion. If the forecast is realized, the value of agricultural imports in the current year would be second only to $79.3 billion in fiscal 2008. The U.S. agricultural balance of trade surplus was projected at $28 billion, up $5.5 billion from the February forecast, up $4.8 billion from fiscal 2009 and the second highest on record after $36 billion in fiscal 2008.