July 15, 2004
July 15, 2004 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's revised forecast of agricultural exports for fiscal year 2004 shows sales of $61.5 billion, an increase of $5.3 billion over the previous year. If realized, this level of sales would be the highest ever, surpassing the old record of $59.8 billion set in fiscal year 1996.
Export growth in 2004 reflects higher volumes and higher unit values for feed grains, rice, cotton, beef and many horticultural products. The improved outlook is due to favorable exchange rates, strong global economic growth, reduced competition for wheat, corn and cotton markets and China's robust demand for oilseeds and cotton. On the other hand, a smaller U.S. soybean crop and BSE-related bans on U.S. beef exports are factors restraining export expansion.
U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at a record $51.5 billion, a gain of $5.8 billion over last year. The agricultural trade surplus is forecast at $10 billion.
The complete report can be accessed at http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/so/view.asp?f=trade/aes-bb/
on the World Wide Web.