agricultural trade posted a surplus of $342 million in July, according to the latest Agricultural Trade Update released by USDA's Economic Research Service Wednesday.
"The value of agricultural exports rose about $100 million from June to July, while the value of agricultural imports fell by over $300 million," the update reports. "For the fiscal year-to-date, the surplus is running about half the fiscal 2004 level. For the first 9 months of fiscal 2005, U.S. agricultural exports are down 1% from the same period in 2004; imports are up 9%."
Cotton exports got a boost in July with heavy shipments lifting the value of cotton exports by 73% over June. China remains the top importer of U.S. cotton, although the volume of cotton shipped to Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea has more than doubled.
"Year-to-date imports of dairy products, coffee, fruits, juices and nuts are ahead of the fiscal 2004 pace," the update says. In addition, their monthly imports have slowed. Exports of live animals also rose 64% from June to July and some 22% so far this fiscal year.