For the first half of fiscal year 2006, exports are $2.5 billion higher than the same period in fiscal 2005; imports are $3.7 billion higher, according to new trade estimates from USDA. The trade surplus continues to shrink, falling 25% from the first half of fiscal 2005. From February to March, U.S. agricultural export value rose by 13%; imports rose by nearly 20%.
The value of U.S. cotton exports for the first half of fiscal 2006 are nearly 30% higher than during the first half of fiscal 2005. China accounts for all of the increase, offsetting declines in other major markets. Red meat exports are also 20% above 2005. Sugar, live animal, and vegetable oil imports saw the largest percentage growth. Fruit, vegetable, and beverage imports continued growing steadily.