For the first four months of fiscal year 2006, agricultural exports are $1.2 billion higher than the same period in fiscal 2005. Imports are up too, $2.4 billion higher in 2006, according to USDA Economic Research Service's latest Monthly Trade Update.
U.S. agricultural exports grew by $80 million from December to January, while imports rose by about $200 million. The monthly trade surplus has fallen to $79 million. While this still maintains a trade surplus, that surplus continues to shrink, falling from $3.7 billion in the first four months of fiscal 2005 to $2.5 billion in 2006.
Larger shipments of rice, corn, and cotton boosted export sales in January. Gains in year to-date export values continued strong for fruits, nuts, red meat, and poultry. Competition from South America has reduced U.S. soybean shipments and the year-to date export value declined by nearly 20%.
On the import side, robust growth continues for coffee, malt beverages, juices, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and dairy products.