USDA increased its forecast for agricultural exports in fiscal year 2007 to a record $78 billion, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced Thursday.
"Projections show 2007 exports would be up $9.3 billion over last year, the second largest increase on record, and the fourth year of back-to-back records," Johanns says. "Two-thirds of this increase is due to the grain and oilseed sectors. Several trends are driving the rise in export value and keeping U.S. competitiveness strong, such as demand for corn due to increased ethanol production, reduced competition for wheat, and only moderate growth in South American oilseed production."
"But this year's story is not just about bulk grains and oilseeds, because we are also expecting considerable growth and record sales for livestock and horticultural products. Livestock and poultry product exports are forecast to increase $1.2 billion, supported by higher meat volumes to many markets. Rising sales of processed products are driving a $1.3 billion increase in horticultural exports."
The full quarterly USDA Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report can be accessed through www.ers.gov or www.fas.usda.gov. The next quarterly report is scheduled for May 31, 2007.