The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its second Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade in fiscal year 2013 Thursday, reporting that U.S. agricultural exports have climbed more than 50% in value since 2009, reaching the most recent forecast of $145 billion in 2013.
Grain and feed export forecasts are down from the August estimate, but are still expected to reach $37.1 billion. Feeds and fodders are down $300 million largely due to lower exports of DDGS and strong domestic demand.
Livestock, poultry and dairy exports are forecast down just $100 million to $28.9 billion, with losses outweighing gains.
According to the USDA, exports support more than 1 million American jobs. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the trade boost is a result of fewer barriers and high demand.
"Because USDA is working harder than ever to remove unfair barriers to trade and provide businesses with the resources they need to reach new markets, American agriculture is booming," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says. "Demand for products like American soybeans, wheat and tree nuts is surging across the world, with notable gains in China, Europe, and Southeast Asia expected to support strong cash receipts through year."
Last week, USDA forecast net farm income at its second-highest level since the 1970s. Vilsack says taken together, the data shows an agricultural economy that is prepared to recover from the year's extensive drought.
Since 2009, USDA-endorsed trade shows in 24 countries have provided outlets for more than 1,000 U.S. companies to pick up sales estimated at more than $4.2 billion, Vilsack says.
"We've led nearly 150 U.S. businesses on trade missions to China, Colombia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Panama, Peru, the Philippines Vietnam and Russia. And we're keeping good-paying jobs here at home by resolving issues and removing barriers to trade that have freed up billions of dollars in American-grown products," he adds.
Once again, Vilsack stressed the importance of a 2012 farm bill to trade.
"It is important that Congress help ensure that this success continues by passing a comprehensive, multi-year Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that provides greater certainty for farmers, ranchers and businesses, and their millions of customers around the world."