Despite an agricultural trade deficit of $149 million for September, U.S. agriculture will end fiscal 2005 with a surplus of $4.6 billion. This is slightly less than half the 2004 surplus of $9.6 billion and the lowest since fiscal 1972 ($2.3 billion), according to USDA's Economic Research Service latest numbers.
Low grain, soybean, and cotton prices restrained growth in export value although soybean and cotton volumes exceeded last year by 21 and 13%, respectively.
Agricultural imports rose to $57.7 billion in fiscal 2005, up $5 billion from 2004. The weaker U.S. dollar made imports more expensive. While still rising unabated, fruit and vegetable imports have accounted for 26% of total import value since fiscal 1999.
September marks the third monthly agricultural trade deficit this fiscal year, following June and April.
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