agricultural exports fell by about 2% from October to November, while imports rose by about 5%, according to the latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Update from USDA's Economic Research Service.
Year-to-date exports, at $57.4 billion, are $1.7 billion higher than the same period in 2004. Imports are $4.8 billion higher at $53.9 billion. While still maintaining a trade surplus, that surplus has shrunk from $6.6 billion for the first 11 months of calendar year 2004 to $3.5 billion for the same period in 2005.
Most of the year-to-date rise in export value is related to livestock. Red meat and poultry meat values are up 33 and 23%, respectively over 2004. Shipments of cotton and soybeans typically increase in November as more of the crop is harvested. Cotton export volume was substantially higher in November than in October; China took the largest share.
On the import side, most of the year-to-date increase can be attributed to beverages, notably coffee, malt beverages, juices, and wine.