U.S. ag exports reach $75 billion
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday reported the country’s farm exports reached an all-time high of $75 billion during the first half of fiscal year 2011.
“Today’s trade data demonstrate that, once again, America’s farmers and ranchers are helping lead the way to recovery from the worst economic recession in decades,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in a statement.
Vilsack said U.S. farm exports during the first half of fiscal year 2011 were 27 percent higher than the same period in last year. “This puts us on track to reach the current USDA export forecast of $135.5 billion by the end of the year,” he said.
With $15.1 billion in farm exports, China accounted for nearly 20 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports, making it the top export market. Canada is the second-largest U.S. market for agricultural exports.
“Both the value and volume of exports rose in the first half of the year, with the volume of bulk shipments up 5 percent from last year,” Vilsack said. “Wheat and cotton volumes were especially robust, with increases of 64 percent and 44 percent, respectively.”
Vilsack said three pending free trade agreements will further boost U.S. farm exports.
“Congress can help U.S. farmers and ranchers sustain their record growth by moving expeditiously to pass the South Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements,” he said. “When fully implemented, those three agreements have potential to add more than $2 billion per year to our exports and support job creation here at home.”
USDA’s latest export data is available via the Global Agricultural Trade System.